Dr Gideon Brückner of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has published a paper in the April 2011 issue of Scientific and Technical Review which features the spread of pathogens through international trade.
Below is the abstract of the paper titled, Ensuring safe international trade: how are the roles and responsibilities evolving and what will the situation be in ten years’ time?
The roles of the international standard-setting bodies that are mandated to facilitate safe trade, such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the International Plant Protection Convention and the World Trade Organization, are well documented, as are the roles of the international organisations responsible for global health issues: the OIE, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. However, developments in international trade, such as accelerating globalisation and the frequent emergence and re-emergence of diseases affecting both humans and animals, have brought new challenges and the need to reconsider the future roles of such organisations. New participants and new demands have also emerged to challenge these mandates, leading to potential areas of conflict. The need for countries to establish themselves as new trade partners, or to strengthen their positions while still maintaining safe trade, poses a challenge to standard-setting organisations, which must meet these demands while still remaining sensitive to the needs of developing countries. In this paper, the author describes and discusses some of these challenges and suggests how international organisations could evolve to confront such issues.
Download the PDF paper from the OIE website
During the question-and-answer session after Dr Jeffrey Mariner’s presentation on the role of risk analysis in the judgement of equivalence, Dr Jonathan Rushton of the Royal Veterinary College, University of London (RVC) noted that there is a need to identify the people involved in livestock trade so as to enable collection of data for risk management processes.
In response, Dr Gideon Brückner of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) informed the participants that the OIE has recently published two handbooks on import risk analysis for animals and animal products — Volume 1 on qualitative risk analysis and Volume 2 on quantitative risk assessment — and these handbooks clearly explain the risk assessment processes.
The publications are available from the OIE e-bookshop at http://www.oie.int/boutique.
Dr Gideon Brückner presents on the OIE judgement of equivalence
The opening presentation on Day 1 of the Enhancing safe inter-regional livestock trade workshop (EST workshop) was by Dr Gideon Brückner, President of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases. His presentation was entitled, The OIE judgement of equivalence.
Dr Brückner outlined the concept of equivalence as one of different roads or paths leading to the same destination. Thus, although livestock importing and exporting countries may use different tests or animal disease control measures, the end result should be an equivalent level of protection that is acceptable to both the importing and exporting countries.
It was noted that while livestock importing and exporting countries have certain obligations to meet, the exporting countries bear the burden of risk mitigation so timely and transparent communication is needed between importing and exporting countries so that both can agree on the appropriate level of protection.
Dr Brückner also gave an overview of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code and its use as a point of reference for animal health requirements for trade. The Code provides the minimum level of protection, based on risk. He noted that risk assessment, though not mandatory, may be done if a higher standard of protection is needed.