The World Assembly of Delegates of the World Organisation for Animal Health (formerly OIE and now WOAH) concluded its 89th Annual General Session last week. 

WFA, members and partners, under the International Coalition for Animal Welfare (ICFAW),  participated in the session during which the Assembly adopted a number of resolutions and changes in its standards that may be of interest to animal welfare organizations, including:

  • A major update of Chapter 7.7 of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code on the  guidelines for dog population management’. The revised version is aligned with the Global Strategic Framework for the Elimination of Dog Mediated Human Rabies. A noteworthy change is the replacement of the term ‘stray dog’ with ‘free-roaming dog’. The latter term was agreed to be a better description of dogs that roam free regardless of ownership status. Read a more comprehensive update on these guidelines at the latest ICFAW’s news. 
  • A minor review of Chapter 1.1.8 ‘Principles of veterinary vaccine production’ and  Chapter 2.3.4 ‘Minimum requirements for the production and quality control of vaccines’ of the Manual of Diagnostic Test and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals. The review was carried out to take into account the guidelines of the Veterinary International Conference on Harmonization (VICH) of criteria to waive Target and Laboratory Animal Batch Safety Tests for veterinary vaccines, an archaic animal-based safety control test. 

During the session, the Assembly also approved the engagement of WOAH in the negotiations of an international instrument for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, currently being debated among members of the World Health Organization (WHO).

WOAH and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will also continue to collaborate under a newly signed memorandum of understanding to further their shared goals in regards to ‘One Health’ and in other fields of mutual interest. Such fields include but are not limited to climate action, nature action, and conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and improvement of animal health and welfare.

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