« Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and Mr John E. Scanlon, Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), signed recently an agreement to deepen the collaboration between the two organisations.
This agreement provides a formal foundation for expanded communication, cooperation and collaboration in order to protect CITES-listed species and conserve biodiversity by ensuring the efficient implementation of surveillance and disease control measures needed to protect animal and human health worldwide.
Rabies, Ebola haemorrhagic fever, West Nile Fever, Avian influenza, Brucellosis, Foot and mouth disease: these are only a few examples of well-known, emerging, or re-emerging diseases that are originally found or circulated in wildlife and which potentially have huge human and animal health, or socio-economic consequences. Considering that over 60 % of pathogens responsible for human diseases are of animal origin and that a majority of these pathogens are coming from wildlife, wildlife disease prevention, monitoring, and control are believed to be crucial factors for safeguarding biodiversity and public and animal health worldwide.
“The role played by the Veterinary Services in each country is essential to carry out early detection, prevention and surveillance of these diseases. Their transmission can be amplify by the global trade in wildlife and can lead to human diseases outbreaks as well as threatens livestock production and rural livelihoods, native wildlife populations and the health of ecosystems”, said Dr Bernard Vallat.
Consequently, it is in the public interest that all diseases for which wildlife act as a reservoir are dealt with undera collaborative “One Health” approach whereby a sentinel benefit from greater attention of the international community can be achieved.
Commenting the significance of the agreement signed today, CITES Secretary-General Mr John E. Scanlon said “This agreement provides a great opportunity for the CITES Secretariat to work more closely with the global organization that has been mandated to improve animal health, which has direct implications for human health, and animal welfare worldwide. These are the sorts of practical synergies that are needed to more effectively implement CITES; in this case ensuring that we maximise the links between CITES trade measures and the globally accepted standards set up by the 180 member States of OIE, both in regulating legal trade and in combating illegal trade in wildlife.”(…)