The African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), in collaboration with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), has brought together the five Member States of the Arab Maghreb Union (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) to critically reflect on their national veterinary legislation on the control of animal diseases with a view to embarking on a process of regional harmonization.
The seminar in Tunis, Tunisia was officially opened by the Director of Veterinary Services of Tunisia, Dr Malek Zrelli, on behalf of the Minister responsible for Livestock. He welcomed the participants and thanked them for their commitment to a regional approach which is the way forward to increase trade in livestock.
The representative of UMA, Mr. Abuagila G. R. Shadi, thanked AU-IBAR for its relentless support to UMA. He explained the work of the UMA veterinary committee and informed the audience of a plan to establish an emergency fund for the control of animal diseases.
Dr Riadh Mansouri, representing FAO, thanked AU-IBAR for inviting FAO to the seminar and reiterated their commitment to support the process.
Dr Rachid Bouguedour of OIE thanked AU-IBAR for the laudable initiative and presented the various regional instruments with emphasis on the veterinary committee and its sub-committees.
In his introductory remarks, Dr Bruce Mukanda representing the Director of AU-IBAR thanked the Government of the Republic of Tunisia through its Ministry responsible for Livestock, for hosting the important seminar. He also thanked all participants for responding positively to AU-IBAR’s invitation to the seminar, stressing the demonstration of their commitment to sharing knowledge and experiences on review, formulation and harmonization of veterinary legislation.
Dr Mukanda quoted Chapter 3.4 of the OIE Terrestrial Code, which states that “Good governance is a recognized global public good which is of crucial importance for Member Countries. Legislation is a key element in achieving good governance”. He further informed the audience that the issue is addressed by AU-IBAR through a specific contribution agreement with the European Commission, as part of the VET-GOV program. He added that specific contribution agreements with the European Commission were signed between the EU and FAO, and OIE, to complement the work of AU-IBAR.
He finally urged participants to get involved fully in this process for its success, which will be an example of good practice worthy of emulation by other regions of Africa.
A total of 35 veterinarians and legal experts are attending the seminar which is facilitated by experts from OIE, AU-IBAR, FAO and UMA.
The seminar will run from 8th to 12th June 2015 at Hotel Africa in Tunis.