Animal programs

Australian experts to strengthen international animal health

The Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer (OCVO) has seconded four of its staff to work overseas – one at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Samoa and three at the headquarters of the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) in France.

The secondments build on the Australian Government’s efforts to support animal health with our close neighbors and around the world, including through the provision of technical expertise to assist Indonesia in its response to outbreaks of foot and mouth disease and skin disease. lumpy lump, and capacity building in Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea.

Dr Beth Cookson

Acting Chief Veterinarian of Australia Dr Beth Cookson said secondments under the Global Agriculture Leadership Initiative would strengthen international standards in animal health, welfare, biosecurity, food safety and antimicrobial resistance and provide support to build capacity in animal health in our immediate area.

“This initiative will support Australia’s foreign policy priorities and represents our commitment to adopting practical means to strengthen regional cooperation and integration in the Pacific,” said Dr Cookson.

“The secondments will enhance Australia’s global reputation and leadership in animal health and agricultural trade, increase engagement in multilateral institutions and strengthen relationships with key partners.

“It will also build capacity and strengthen national and regional engagement with international bodies that deliver on our commitment through the Commonwealth Biosafety Roadmap 2030.

“Under this programme, we are sending an expert from the department to undertake a secondment to the FAO sub-regional office in Apia, Samoa, to improve the provision of scientific and technical support to Pacific island countries in increasing One Health institutional capacity and expertise. .

This seconded person will support the capacity development of National Livestock Departments across the Pacific to respond to emerging threats to animal health and production.

“Animal diseases do not respect international borders, and Australia’s proximity to our Pacific neighbors highlights the importance of building animal health capacity in this region to counter the threat of the spread of animal diseases, such as the deadly swine disease, African Swine Fever which has been detected in PNG and Timor-Leste,” said Dr Cookson.

The World Organization for Animal Health is recognized as the global authority on animal health that works with government partners to coordinate the global response to animal health emergencies, prevent zoonotic diseases, and promote health and welfare. animals.

“We are also sending three Australian experts to support the important work of the World Organization for Animal Health in France, in the areas of setting international animal health standards and implementing these standards,” said said Dr. Cookson.

“A seconded person will support the WOAH Observatory project, a continuous and systematic mechanism for observing and analyzing the practices of WOAH members and intended to support the implementation of international standards. Another seconded person will support the implementation of the WOAH aquatic strategy, which aims to improve the health of aquatic animals worldwide.

The third seconded will provide support to WOAH on foreign policy issues, strengthening the organization as an international authority on matters relating to animal health and welfare.

The Australian Government is investing $15 million over four years through the Global Agriculture Leadership Initiative to increase Australia’s contribution to international discussions on agriculture and food policy.

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