4. Compliance with animal health and animal welfare standards enhanced
The improvement of the sanitary certification systems and the need for compliance with domestic and international sanitary standards places high demands on the financial, human and technological resources of countries engaging in trade in animal commodities. This will involve providing technical and institutional support to RECs and AU MSs in understanding, reviewing and contributing to sanitary, welfare and veterinary education standards setting process. This result will be achieved through:
- Supporting capacities of MSs to implement sanitary measures and monitoring compliance with regional and international standards. More specifically, support will be provided to MSs to enhance compliance with standards in such areas as disease control, surveillance, laboratory diagnosis, trade, vaccine production, animal feed standards, safety of food of animal origin, registration of drugs, certification and traceability. This will be achieved through strengthened national and regional regulatory frameworks and using standardized methods and procedures (SMPs) as frameworks for regional harmonisation of disease surveillance and control.
- Supporting the RECs to ensure the harmonization of the SPS frameworks and capacity building, of the regional SPS common positions and the implementation of regional SPS regulations as well as the storage of critical scientific data. The AU will collaborate with the RECs in developing SPS policies frameworks that harmonize and integrate SPS issues while being consistent with the SPS Agreement of the World Trade Organization.
- Raising awareness of stakeholders over animal welfare guidelines and standards and also championing and coordinating capacity building for compliance with these standards at all level of the value chain.
- Enhancing the institutional capacity of MSs and RECs to apply and regulate the implementation of animal health, welfare and VPH standards.
- Collaborating with the OIE and supporting MSs to create awareness and establish systems to monitor the application of animal welfare guidelines and standards.
- Supporting RECs and MSs to develop and implement adaptive animal health certification and traceability approaches.
- Strengthening capacities of MSs to sustain their effective participation in international standard setting process and to support their national SPS committees as decided by the Heads of State of the AU.
- Facilitating meetings and providing technical support to African experts and officials in animal health and food safety areas to develop coordinated and common positions for participation in standard setting processes.
- Promoting the use of available standards and principles such as compartmentalization, principle of equivalence, commodity-based trade, certification and concepts such as traceability to boost regional trade.