Joint media statement by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Racing South Africa on the OIE revisions of the African horse sickness Code Chapter
6 Jun 2012
South Africa is set to benefit immensely from the revisions to the African horse sickness (AHS) Code Chapter that were adopted at the recent meeting of the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE) General Assembly that was held in Paris, France.
The new guidelines will greatly improve the way in which countries infected with African horse sickness are able to export their horses, something that South Africa has been negotiating for a number of years now. The new AHS Code will be published by the OIE in due course.
The 80th General Assembly meeting of the World Organisation for Animal Health, commonly known as the OIE, was attended by more than 600 participants representing OIE member countries, as well as international, intergovernmental, regional and national organisations. The assembly also adopted chapters that will serve as international guidelines on trade on animals and animal products. For the first time in many years, the assembly adopted a chapter on welfare considerations for livestock production.
The meeting discussed, among others, the matter of “One Health” approach to disease control, which recognises the importance of addressing new and emerging animal diseases as a critical element for food security, health protection and economic prosperity.
One of the chapters adopted was on Guidelines on African horse sickness, from which South Africa is set to benefit. South Africa’s control measures for African horse sickness will be recognised worldwide as these measures have been present over years. The South African Horse Industry, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the University of Pretoria worked very hard to contribute to the drafting of this chapter.
The department wishes to congratulate Dr Botlhe Modisane, a veterinarian in the DAFF, who was elected into the council of the OIE for a period of three years.
Racing South Africa CEO, Peter Gibson stated: “This is a significant breakthrough for South Africa, whose horse export industry has been hamstrung by the past rules which failed to properly address the real risk of exporting the AHS virus. Racing South Africa’s horse export strategy has focused on two major themes pertaining to AHS: changing the regulations and improving the science.
We are extremely grateful to the South African Veterinary Services for their efforts on behalf of South Africa’s equestrian industry and the team that supported them, in particular Professor Alan Guthrie and Dr Beverley Zietsman.”
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Issued by: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
6 Jun 2012
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