Cooperative exporter-importer livestock disease control

Standard Methods and Rules- introduction

The theme on Cooperative exporter-importer livestock disease control featured a presentation by Dr Andrew Clark on the Standard Methods and Rules (SMR) for control of trade-related transboundary animal diseases and a panel discussion on communication among trading partners moderated by Dr Bernard Bett.

Dr Clark introduced the SMR discussion document and outlined the components of an SMR program. A key feature of an SMR program is its regional approach to control of transboundary animal diseases in line with the OIE principle of equivalence which acknowledges that exporting and importing countries can adopt different approaches to arrive at the same goal of safe livestock trade.

One advantage of the SMR program is its flexibility which allows it to be tailored to suit the needs of the primary users, Chief Veterinary Officers of both livestock exporting nations in the Horn of Africa and importing nations in the Middle East. It may also have potential as the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) basis for livestock trade in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region.

The panel in the discussion on communication among trading partners featured four representatives of the main actors along the export-import value chain: livestock importing and exporting countries, traders and quarantine station operators.

The discussion centred on the livestock information needs of importing and exporting countries; sources of animals and trade markets; procedures for animal disease screening at quarantine stations; and animal disease control measures in exporting countries. It was agreed that a coordinated action plan is necessary to harmonize livestock disease control activities.