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14.09.2007, 21:50
Gideon Bru¨ ckner,2,3 Christanne Bruschke,2 Steve Edwards,2 and Bernard Vallat2
1 Presentation at the FAO and OIE International Scientific Conference on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds, Rome,
30 and 31 May 2006
2 World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), 12 Rue de Prony, 75017, Paris, France
3 Corresponding author (email: g.bruckner@oie.int)
ABSTRACT: Since its establishment in 1924, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE),
currently consisting of 167 member countries, developed and implemented numerous actions to
control animal diseases worldwide. Whereas initial actions focused on the prevention of global
animal disease epidemics, the increased risk of rapid spread of animal diseases brought about by
globalization of international trade and the movement in animals and animal products called for
reevaluation of the objectives, priorities, and strategies of the OIE. The initial objectives remained
unchanged, but the urge to recognize veterinary services as an international public good resulted
in additional objectives to improve the legal framework and resources of national veterinary
services, the establishment of guarantees for safe food of animal origin, and the promotion of
animal welfare. Networks of reference laboratories of the OIE were expanded to establish a unique
backup system for science-based standards and diagnosis of terrestrial animal and aquatic animal
diseases, including zoonoses. This network now comprises 160 reference laboratories in 29
countries covering 58 terrestrial and 29 aquatic diseases. A network of 20 OIE collaborating
centers is established in 13 countries. To address the demands of emerging and threatening
zoonoses, the OIE collaborated with its international partners such as the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) to establish the Global Early
Warning System (GLEWS) and the OIE/FAO Global Framework for the Progressive Control of
Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TAD) to complement the mechanisms for early detection
and diagnosis of disease. The unprecedented spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)
also resulted in establishment of the OIE/FAO worldwide scientific network for the control of
avian influenza (OFFLU). This joint OIE and FAO network provided a technical and scientific
base for the control of avian influenza and, in close collaboration with the WHO, established
strategies for control of avian influenza in poultry in order to prevent a possible human pandemic.
Key words: Diagnostic laboratories network, OIE reference laboratories.