By Jackie Linden
ANALYSIS – At its global meeting this week, OIE has agreed new standards on tackling antimicrobial resistance and on broiler welfare. Research to develop a vaccine against necrotic enteritis has taken a step forward and an agreement has been signed between a French-based animal health company and a Chinese university for the development of a new H5N1 influenza vaccine.
At the World Assembly of Delegates of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in Paris this week, new standards were agreed in a number of areas, including antimicrobial resistance and broiler welfare and there was special attention on the recent influenza A(H7N9) episode in China.
On antimicrobial resistance, OIE delegates have updated an important chapter of the OIE Code on responsible and prudent use of antimicrobial agents in veterinary medicine in the 178 OIE Member Countries.
The World Assembly also adopted a new chapter on broiler chickens, which includes criteria and measurables for animal welfare in broiler production systems.
“This new chapter is the culmination of a long-term undertaking and it has taken OIE Member Countries several years to reach a consensus. It also goes to show that our Organisation’s international standards-setting process, based on scientific excellence and democratically adopted standards – one country, one vote – achieves results of worldwide importance,” declared Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE.
The Assembly also heard the latest available information from the Chinese delegation. The results of the recent OIE expert mission to China were presented, with a view to preparing measures to try to prevent any worldwide spread of the virus in animals.
A total of 132 human cases of H7N9 bird flu have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) so far, including 37 deaths. All cases have been in China or been linked to travel to that country.
French-based multi-national animal health company, Ceva Santé Animale, has signed a scientific protocol with the South China Agricultural University to research and develop vaccine to help control H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza, which continues to cause severe losses to the poultry industry in affected countries worldwide.
In a positive development of poultry health control, researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK have reported that, instead of fighting necrotic enteritis with antibiotics, farmers could be able to use a vaccine in future.