May 2004 Latest amendments on
FACTORS FACILITATING ANIMAL INFECTION LONG-DISTANCE SPREADING THROUGH INTERNATIONAL TRADE – COMMENTS AND NOTES
Formerly: Animal Health Officer (Research and Education), Animal Health Officer (Veterinary Intelligence), Senior Officer (Veterinary Services) and Chief, Animal Health Service, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, Rome; Editor-in-Chief, FAO/WHO/OIE Animal Health Yearbook; Vice-Director and Chief Epizootiologist, Czechoslovak and Czech State Veterinary Service; Professor of Epizootiology, University of Veterinary Sciences, Brno
One of the major problems of global animal population health is represented by disease spreading through international trade in animals and animal products. There are many factors facilitating or even supporting directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously the propagation of communicable diseases of animals through legal and illegal international trade. The impacts of these factors differ in time and space, according to particular diseases, animal species, environmental conditions, animal health service capability and measures, animal health legislation, animal health organization and management from local up to global levels, etc. This article mentions some of these factors in a form of personal notes and comments. Each factor can become in particular situation a decisive one. Numeric order of the Contents is not the order of importance for disease spreading through international trade.
Note: The term “healthy animals” used in the text means epizootiologically healthy, i.e. “ animals free of communicable disease pathogens” and not only clinically healthy.
Table of Contents
1. Intensive international trade in animals, their products and objects which can be carriers of pathogens
2. Not discovering all animal-carriers of pathogens and infected/contaminated animal products
3. Not knowing real occurrence of communicable diseases in animal populations
4. Not reporting real occurrence of communicable diseases in animal populations of exporting countries
5. Avoiding analyses of communicable disease import cases by stopping their regular reporting
6. Abusing disease risk assessments to facilitate export of non-healthy animal commodities
7. International import conditions not guaranteeing healthy animals and non-pathogen-free products
8. Export not guaranteeing healthy animals and innocuous animal products
9. Inability to discover, control and eradicate imported communicable diseases
10. Legal arrangements facilitating communicable disease spread through trade
11. Not applying current principles of fair international trade avoiding problems to importing countries
12. WTO “new” policy at the expense of animal and human health in importing countries
13. OIE “new” policy at the expense of animal and human health in importing countries
14. Inability of public veterinary services to control epizootiological situation and trade
15. Minimal research in diagnosis and effective protection of animal population health at territorial level
16. Minimal education and training in diagnosis and protection of animal population health at territorial level
17. Human factors facilitating spread of communicable diseases through international trade
18. Dangerous “philosophy” facilitating and supporting disease spreading through international trade
19. Domination of relevant international organizations by some exporting countries
20. Other factors facilitating international trade at the expense of animal and human health in importing countries
21. Note about deliberately introduced a very dangerous disease into other country (international crime)
1. INTENSIVE INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ANIMALS, THEIR PRODUCTS AND OBJECTS WHICH CAN BE CARRIERS OF PATHOGENS
1.1 Rapidly increasing size, speed and origin/destination numbers of international trade in animals, animal products and objects which can be carriers of pathogens has significantly increased disease spreading among countries and continents during last decades. The situation is becoming worse as never in spite of continuously improving scientific knowledge.
Example: According to FAOSTAT during the period 1961-2000 the global legal import reached following increase: cattle 1.67 times, pigs 6.46 times, sheep 2.23 times and chicken 16 times; monetary value in USD of live animals 9.71 times, meat and meat preparations in MT 6.76 times, dairy and eggs in MT 7.07 times; sum of monetary value of all animal commodities (not considering inflation rates) 17 times (from 4,653 to 80,358 million US$). In the year 2000 the international trade reached: 22,920,710 MT of meat and meat preparations (daily average of 62,796 MT), 8,259,000 cattle (daily average 22,627), 15,254,937 sheep (daily average 41,794), 16,644,537 pigs (daily average 45,601) y 755,006,000 chickens (daily average 2,068,510).
The grand majority of animals and products were exported from developed countries (73.65 % cattle, 84.75 % pigs, 58.62 % sheep, 77.98 % chickens, 92.34 % beef and veal, 95.56 % pig meat, 94.98 % mutton and lamb, 65.39 % chicken meat and 76.02 % hen eggs).
1.2 Too many cases of disease introduction through international trade as never before have proved that veterinary import conditions, certifications and measures as well as veterinary services’ capacity, competence and preparedness do not correspond with the changing trade situation and conditions.
Example: Official data on the introduction of animal infectious and parasitic diseases through international trade during 1980-2000 document catastrophic deterioration of global animal health situation. Number of available official reports on disease import cases reached 607, very often followed by further spreading. Number of reported cases of disease reappearance reached 329 and of reports on “recognized in country for the first time” reached 420 cases. Protective, post-import control and eradication measures are usually insufficient or not existing.
1.3 Import of these commodities, if they are not pathogen-free, is contributing not only to diseases’ introduction but also to their after-import spreading with multiplying negative, often long-term or permanent consequences. Many introduced diseases cannot be blocked in the quarantine to avoid secondary outbreaks. Late discovery gives the chance for territorial spreading making impossible to apply effective eradication measures in time. The recovery, i.e. eradication, is feasible only in very limited number of diseases due to absence of necessary methods, inputs and conditions. Even the countries considered as the best prepared had difficulty to block imported diseases.
In European Union during 1977-1987 average
ratio primary/secondary outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) was (D a v i e
s 1993). In
These cases demonstrated enormous complexity, diversity and dynamics of the diseases as biological phenomena and the difficulties to control imported diseases !
1.4 Disease import = "at high price paid import of difficult-to-solve problems". To import a disease is relatively easy, particularly when applying antisanitary WTO and OIE policy, but to eradicate it is usually extremely difficult, if it is feasible at all.
In 1978 imported African swine
1.5 There have been many cases when a specific disease has been introduced into a "free country" in spite of so called "favorable risk assessment", risk reducing measures and problematic veterinary certification although corresponding to so called “OIE international standards” but not guaranteeing full sanitary innocuousness (pathogen-free status).
Examples: In Czech Republic, the number of communicable disease introductions through legal import for “livestock improvement ” (with international certificates according to the OIE Code) from developed European countries, incl. some globally very influential ones, reached during 1990-1996 following values: from 326 shipments of cattle (19,350 heads) were found 181 (55.52%) as affected – in 24 shipments by paratuberculosis (never existed in indigenous animals), in 3 shipments by bovine tuberculosis (long before eliminated), in 18 shipments by hypodermosis (long before eradicated), in 39 shipments by IBR/IPV and in 86 by trichophytosis (both under advanced elimination programme); from 500 shipments of sheep (9880 animals) were found in 16 shipments maedi-visna (never existed), in 16 shipments scrapie (never existed), in 4 shipments paratuberculosis (never existed), in 3 shipments mange (long before eradicated), etc.; results of these costly imports – loss of local healthy herds !
1.6 International organizations involved in animal health do not respect and not consider the past experience with negative multiplying impacts of diseases spreading through international trade upon animal and human health, food safety, environment, economics, sustainable development, social life, animal welfare etc. in importing countries. These organizations have not yet presented to member country governments any analyses of negative consequences (disease import risk assessments) of their policy.
Examples: World Trade Organization “Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS)” and International Office of Epizootics “International Animal Health Code” admitting and even supporting also export of non-healthy animals and non-innocuous animal products, i.e. disease export.
1.7 Every country tries to improve its animal and human health situation and not to permit its worsening, however actual international trade, following “new” WTO and OIE policies, has proved to be not favourable to this effort strongly discriminating importing countries, mainly developing, ones. According to their documents importing country cannot require healthy animals and innocuous animal products !
1.8 Pseudo-economic aspects tend to maximize trade profit at the expense of the quality, i.e. to minimizing health protective measures, disease control programmes, preventive diagnostic activities, monitoring, surveillance, trade inspections, etc..
1.9 Pseudo-economic aspects imposed by some non democratic y non representative international finance agencies, such as World Bank and International Monetary Fund *), on member country governments caused the dismantlement of existing government veterinary services through privatization of the majority of veterinarians and veterinary laboratories, somewhere ad absurdum, minimizing public services role, manpower, facilities, budget, etc.. This policy is minimizing objective and independent control/inspections of trade, health quality and supervision of “accredited” veterinarians and laboratories, significantly reducing or abolishing animal health/disease control programmes, diagnostic activities, communicable disease surveillance, etc. Shortly, this policy has paralyzed the animal health public service, i.e. service of legally elected governments responsible to the their inhabitants and defending their interests. Private sector has opposite position and role.
“To cope with
ever-increasing demand on Veterinary Services, both countries have made
continued effort to expand the services, which currently only have a limited
number of government personnel.” “There are increasing demand for the
prevention and control of diseases…. Furthermore, consumers are becoming more
and more interested and demanding in regard to the safety of livestock
products. This means a heavier workload for the Veterinary Services. However,
current veterinary manpower is inadequate to cope and the recruitment of
additional workers is difficult in the light of the continued downsizing of the
Government.” Ozawa, Y., Chang, K, Yoshida, K. and Michino, H. 2003: The present and
future organization of Veterinary Services in
*) President of the World Bank
is nominated by the President of the
1.10 Unfair international policy of major exporting countries conducing, through strongly subsidized livestock production and export prices (below real input value), avoiding effective importing country products competition, to the reduction of national food production, i.e. of food self-sufficiency and thus increasing the need for excessive import of risky commodities without full sanitary (pathogen-free) guarantee. Similar impact has the policy of some international organizations damaging national livestock development and production, e.g. through dictating production limit quota opening new market space for the export from trade stronger countries.
European Union in so called “association agreement” before the full membership
Among the factors artificially reducing national production and food self-sufficiency belong supranational super-market networks giving priority to sell food originated from their “home-countries”. Increasing food-import dependency reflects increasing risk of animal disease pathogens introduction. Reduction up to destruction of national livestock industry of importing countries is obviously welcome by the major exporting countries supported directly or indirectly by the WTO policy and by incredible passivity of the OIE and the FAO. This dirty policy has very negative impact on importing countries, not only on developing ones.
When I was preparing my lecture (ponencia magistral) entitled “Barreras
Sanitarias al Comercio de Productos Animales” for a Seminar organized on this
subject by the Government of Tlaxcala and Universidad Autonoma de Tlaxcala
in Huamantla City, Tlaxcala State, Mexico held on 23 March 1993, I obtained some
relevant documents from Mexico City University. The documents reflected similar
situation as mentioned above, i.e.
1.11. Other trade aspects
a) Too large import due to insufficient national animal production (low self-sufficiency) caused not only by local natural, economic and social conditions but also due to animal production reduction (up to its destruction) as the consequence of relatively cheaper import of goods (strongly financially subsidized suppressing local concurrence) from exporting countries with the overproduction ; the main suffering countries are the developing ones and in particular the poorest defenseless ones;
c) instable partnerships among exporting and importing countries and traders making more difficult to control international trade than under stable conditions;
d) too many and too distant places of origin and destination of traded animal commodities causing more intensive and extensive disease spread than before up to very remote territories and even worldwide;
e) too many localities of commodity original provenances and final distribution and use;
f) illegal import, black market, uncontrolled re-export, dumping prices (conducing to import of cheaper commodities often at the expense of health quality);
g) in spite of general tendency to increase the quality requirements, international trade in animals and their products unfortunately represents the only exception due to applying principle "business first, quality, i.e. health, secondary";
h) trade deregulation, competition and liberalization (freedom to decide about import conditions without external interference or dictate) not applied on animal commodities: false understanding of liberalization as "disease spreading liberalization" !
i) losses due to disease import and follow-up spread and costs of eradication programme are covered by importing country taxpayers, farmers and other affected animal owners and not by guilty exporting country traders - profiting businessmen (similar impunity is applied also on irresponsible veterinarians issuing health attests not corresponding with the sanitary reality).
Example: Eradication of Cochliomyia hominivorax,
horrible myiasis affecting all mammals, including man, introduced through trade
into North Africa from South America cost 80 million US$ (losses not included);
exporting country (traders) contributed nothing ! (FAO). Catastrophic
consequences of bovine spongiform encephalopathy introduction through trade in
2. NOT DISCOVERING ALL ANIMAL-CARRIERS OF PATHOGENS AND INFECTED/CONTAMINATED ANIMAL PRODUCTS
2.1 Not all animal-carriers of pathogens and animal products containing etiological agents of communicable diseases can be discovered clinically or macroscopically (post-mortem) even when using specific diagnostic field and laboratory tests due to false negative results; in those cases the attests of exporting country "confirming" specific disease free status are confusing importing country.
2.2 Number of direct etiological investigations of exported or imported animals and their products is usually minimum or zero, not only in developing countries (lack of resources and diagnostic capacities) but also in developed ones due to “economic reasons” - to avoid increasing trade expenses and decreasing trade profit.
2.3 The discovery in time and control of introduced and spread diseases are usually very difficult, if feasible at all, and costly. Not all introduced diseases can be blocked within the quarantine (if any) to avoid secondary outbreaks with multiplying negative impacts.
Example: The ratio primary/secondary outbreaks, expressing the grade of
disease post-import spreading, is documented by following example: “In
2.4 Not all introduced diseases can be eradicated (e.g., if widely spread, with natural nidality), some of them only after a long period requiring a lot of economic and other inputs; eradication of introduced and spread diseases is extremely difficult, usually very expensive and takes years up to decades; in the most diseases the eradication is not yet feasible.
2.5 Due to biological complexity, it is not easy and often impossible (mainly in imported products) to identify how and when the disease was introduced, if not discovered immediately after import or after quarantine period (if any).
2.6 Initial spread of post-import foodborne diseases infecting the consumers is usually insidious (without clinical manifestation) and without necessary control and eradication measures.
2.7 Every country has particular animal health situation different from any other territory and requires different preventive/control measures and different protective import conditions what the WTO/SPS and OIE Code do not respect at all.
2.8 Above mentioned facts belong among main differences when comparing the import of animal commodities as biological phenomena and import of any other commodities, i.e. inanimate such as industrial ones.
3. NOT KNOWING REAL OCCURRENCE OF COMMUNICABL DISEASES IN ANIMAL POPULATIONS
3.1 Knowledge of real occurrence of almost all diseases is limited (ad hoc reports of manifest cases only are far from true occurrence) or not available at all (including emerging diseases).
3.2 The grade of possibility and consistency of the control by public services of epizootiological situation in the country and of the export (including certificates issued by private veterinarians) is also reflected in the comparison of the number of government veterinary officers with the size of animal populations and exported animals and animal products as well as with country territory. Available data demonstrate that in many countries (including those which dominate international export) private sector is practically incontrollable. The investigations of animals and their products for the export as well as the issuing of the export “official” certificates are in these cases out of real and direct control by public services.
Example: In eight major
exporting countries (
It is logical, that weak public veterinary services are not able to control effectively the health and diseases of grand populations in grand territories and grand exports of animals and their products..
3.3 The discipline depends a lot on the supervision. The history teaches that when there is a chance to cheat, somebody it abuses. When effective supervision with follow-up consequences for the delinquents is missing, the duties are usually not fulfilled properly. The export of the diseases is practically without punishment.
3.4 There are a lot of cases of communicable disease "import",
a) some of them are discovered and reported to international organizations (international information system covers only about 1/10 of known species of transmissible diseases, not considering enormous number of different types, subtypes and strains);
b) some are discovered and not reported (e.g., majority of diseases are not obligatory notifiable, not monitored and not controlled, i.e. they can spread freely);
c) much more cases are not discovered and not reported at all (absence of active investigations to detect subclinical carriers, etc.);
d) some countries are sending only incomplete reports on disease occurrence;
Example: Italian Chief
Veterinary Officer (President of the OIE up to 2004) sent no any data on bovine
tuberculosis, brucellosis, leukosis and paratuberculosis for 2001 (unlikely to
previous years) and for 2002 data on these diseases he mentioned that they are
only “partial data up to
e) some countries are not sending any reports on disease occurrence;
f) some countries are falsely reporting free status of specific disease in spite of its occurrence;
g) originally unknown, i.e. not reported emerging diseases and new emerging types and strain of known species represent a new insidious threat;
h) types, subtypes, abnormal strains (e.g. drug resistant) of known pathogens etc., which could be "exotic" for importing countries, are not included in regular reporting.
3.5 Not all accredited veterinarians are independent on those whose is the commodity (animals or products) for the export (being afraid of loosing the clients and income). Not all veterinary certificates are reliable and corresponding with the real health status.
3.6 According to the “OIE International Animal Health Code” certifying veterinarian has to confirm only that what he knows, i.e. without active investigation he does not know the real situation which he considers and certifies as disease (pathogen) free. The export is carried out without any guarantee of the innocuousness.
3.7 Considering the absence of sufficient public services in the majority of the exporting countries it can be deduced that incomplete and superficial control of the trade cannot guarantee avoiding of diseases export.
4. NOT REPORTING REAL OCCURRENCE OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASES IN EXPORTING COUNTRIES
4.1 Disease occurrence estimates as symbols, including occurrence grading providing information for the orientation, of cases of disease "import", of ”first discovery in country”, etc. were abolished by the OIE in 1996 and replaced by one cross “+” (as follow-up of WTO/SPS policy “to facilitate trade” !?). OIE reduced the contents of global information system instead to provide more and better data on diseases status needed for import decision. Importing countries have less information about diseases status in exporting countries required for decision making than before SPS ! This obviously follows absolutely false and very dangerous "philosophy", professionally unacceptable, that "when we have available risk reducing tools (tests, treatments, whatever)... what does it matter what starting risk was ?" This means, what does it matter what diseases situation was in herd, locality, zone and country of exporting commodity origin. OIE information system is far from providing necessary data for practical "risk assessment". Useful set of indicators about different disease occurrence grades for systematic reporting was abolished and replaced by a symbol "+" which is practically un-interpretable (it can mean one imported case in quarantine of otherwise disease free country or many millions of cases spread all over the country); absolute data about occurrence are mostly ad hoc reported cases not reflecting true status and therefore confuse importing countries. Necessary information about the size of active investigations to discover true occurrence and their results are not collected. Regular data on diseases prevalence are not available as well.
4.2 Occurrence absolute data, published by the OIE World Animal Health yearbook, are usually strongly underreported, i.e. not corresponding with the true situation (thus confusing decision about import conditions and measures) due to not respecting:
- very limited disease detectability and reporting grade
- very limited clinical manifestation of the majority of communicable diseases
- limited grade of disease registration and low reporting discipline
- incomplete active investigations (if any)
- imperfect diagnostic methods and results’ interpretation
- disease occurrence dynamics in time and place, in contents and form, etc.;
4.3 Operational data on new outbreaks are very often not reported by all respective countries and when reported then often in incomplete form.
4.4 Information system doesn’t provide data on the size and used methods of active investigations and therefore the number of reported cases can not be differentiated if the data have been collected only ad hoc or through active survey to can much better discover epizootiological reality.
4.5 As convincing example confirming the fact that there are not reported all cases of the diseases, namely with prevailing chronicle course was published by Toma etc. col. in the "Dictionary of Veterinary Epidemiology", Iowa State University Press, Ames in 1999 on page 147: "It is assumed that, for every case of salmonellosis recorded in humans in the United States, at least nine are not reported." What about animal diseases’ reporting ? What about the unreliable data processed by "statistical epidemiologists", i.e. exact calculation of data not corresponding with the reality ?! Garbage in, garbage out ! This reality is not taken at all into consideration by the “OIE experts” (irresponsible theoreticians) for epidemiology and informatics dominating from 1996 global animal health information system.
Real epizootiological situation is not known sufficiently or at all and in the majority of diseases the absolute data on outbreaks and diseased animals are not available. Before, the importing countries had at least qualified occurrence estimates from exporting countries facilitating their decision in import conditions. This information system was abolished in 1996 to “facilitate trade” !? The OIE Code is based on false illusion about the knowledge of epizootiological situation in exporting countries and is avoiding to ask for sanitary quality guarantee replacing it by superficial information in international veterinary certificates. Objective analysis of epizootiological situation requires a lot of data on disease occurrence which unfortunately are usually not available due to many different factors such as subclinical course, absence of active investigations, insufficient reporting system, etc.
How can importing countries decide about disease import risk when necessary data on epizootiological situation in exporting countries are not available ? The OIE code is not taking this reality into consideration and continues with its theoretical fantasy based on internationally not controllable self-declarations of exporting countries on disease free herds, disease free zones, disease free regions, disease free countries, low prevalence zones, seasonal zero prevalence zones, etc..
5. AVOIDING ANALYSES OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASE IMPORT CASES BY STOPPING THEIR REGULAR REPORTING
5.1 Government authorities of individual countries were sending regular reports on animal disease introduction through trade (including diseases transmissible to man) to FAO and OIE up to 1995:
- cases of disease introduction through trade accompanied by international veterinary certificates (confirming non consciously or deliberately falsely disease free status); this reports facilitated also the analysis of disease reintroduction through international trade into countries being for years specific disease free;
- historically first cases of important animal diseases introduced through international trade into so far specific disease free countries.
5.2 Systematic collection of these data by FAO lasted from the sixties up to 1995 when the international animal health information system was left only with the OIE. From that time regular collection of data related to international trade was abolished by the OIE. Afterwards, greatly incomplete information on disease import can be found seldom only ad hoc in the text of country reports published by the OIE World Animal Health.
5.3 The abolishment was made deliberately (all protests sent to DG OIE were left without any correction) “to facilitate international trade” (!?). This act made impossible serious global analyses of negative consequences of international trade (thanks to extremely unilateral WTO/SPS document favouring to exporting countries and OIE Code supporting export of animals and animal products also at the expense of animal and human health in importing countries).
5.4 The fear of the truth on mass spreading of animal communicable diseases through international trade as the consequences of antisanitary policy of the WTO and OIE Code has avoided to present member country governments any objective analysis of negative impacts on animal and human health in importing countries. On the other hand these organizations are imposing on importing countries a nonsense duty to “scientifically justify” their requirements for getting healthy animals and sanitary innocuous animal products !
6. ABUSING DISEASE RISK ASSESSMENTS TO FACILITATE EXPORT OF NON-HEALTHY ANIMALS AND NON-PATHOGEN-FREE PRODUCTS
6.1 It is logical that there is a great difference between disease risk assessment for local purposes and international trade, i.e. related to local problems solution or to long distance disease spreading and consequences.
6.2 OIE Risk assessment theoretical methodology is without any prove under practical conditions (not feasible even in home countries of the authors). After a decade of imposing WTO and OIE risk assessment methods upon importing countries, their procedures proved to be a mere theory for camouflaging the inability of exporting countries to assure export of really healthy animals and innocuous animal products = non-pardonable swindle.
6.3 Deficiency of the OIE risk assessment method:
a) Mono-etiological instead of poly-etiological risk assessment not considering the full spectrum of transmissible diseases of importance for importing country;
In the OIE Code 2004, article 126.96.36.199 there is following text: “The importation of animals and animal products involves a degree of disease risk to the importing country. This risk may be presented by one or several diseases or infection.” What about other diseases or infections ? To leave them to be freely imported ?!
b) risk assessment based mainly on theoretical mathematical calculations (modeling) and not on evaluation of the whole complex of relevant criteria (characteristics of animals, etiological agents, environment, etc.).
c) Risk assessment not respecting:
aa) real occurrence and dynamics of diseases in the given time and space under particular conditions; previously unknown emerging diseases, new and "exotic" strains of known pathogen species;
bb) disease infinite biological complexity and diversity (forms, types, phases, carriers, ways of transmission, etc.) and individuality (every case is different !);
cc) disease agents natural ability to spread horizontally and vertically (to next generations), to change its virulence, to survive and reproduce with multiplying negative effect; some pathogens are able to penetrate "barriers" of the most complete isolation measures;
dd) inability of diagnostic methods to discover all affected herds and animals and all infected animal products (false negative results due to absence of full sensitivity of tests);
ee) inability of public veterinary services of exporting country to monitor and control effectively on-the-spot epizootiological situation and to issue reliable certificates;
ff) inability of public veterinary services of importing country to control effectively on-the-spot imported animals and their products, discover in time eventual introduction of animal disease and block its spreading from primary outbreak;
gg) that risk grade is directly correlated with import commodity size and frequency, with number of origin and destination places and distances between them as well as with the number of primary provenance and final distribution localities;
hh) possible post-introduction biological, ecological, public health, economic, social, psychological and animal welfare direct and indirect consequences;
ii) human factors influencing disease spreading through trade.
6.4 Risk assessment of biological phenomena influenced by many factors is not quantifiable, i.e. everybody can get completely different results, i.e. the results usually cannot be transparent, repeatable, defensible and acceptable to both sides of trade.
6.5 More information see in http://vaclavkouba.byl.cz/riskassessment.htm.
7. INTERNATIONAL IMPORT CONDITIONS NOT GUARANTEEING HEALTHY ANIMALS AND INNOCUOUS ANIMAL PRODUCTS
7.1 International recommendations of the OIE Code for minimal health protection requirements were changed in 1995 into rigid obligatory maximal limit of often "disease permeable" requirements (to "facilitate trade" at the expense of animal and human health in importing countries) based only upon problematic administrative consensus of the Chief Veterinary Officers and not scientific justification.
7.2 International agreements have become unfavourable to importing countries' disease protection due to not providing sufficient guarantee of health quality - pathogen free commodity, i.e. admitting or even explicitly supporting diseases spreading.
7.3 WTO and OIE not applying fair trade practice, e.g., when importing country authorities responsible for country population health protection became not free to decide if or not and where to purchase the given animal commodity and to define health quality conditions without outside dictate.
7.4 OIE Code is defining many unclear and incomplete health conditions for the import, conducing to different understanding, confusions and eventual abuse by exporting countries.
7.5 Importing countries cannot define correct conditions due to absence of reliable information from exporting country on epizootiological situation and veterinary services issuing export attests.
7.6 In WTO and OIE documents are missing clearly formulated reclamation procedures for cases of transmissible disease agents "import" (commodity return or destruction, paying of losses, etc.) as required currently in all other commodity import.
7.7 Profiting exporting countries (traders, businessmen, etc,) are not paying losses caused by introduction of diseases in importing countries if detected even during the quarantine (i.e. only the exporters enjoy zero-risk trading !)
7.8 For exporting countries is easier and cheaper to manage importing countries to soften import conditions, i.e. protection measures against disease introduction, than to implement demanding diseases reduction or eradication programmes at home !
7.9 Benevolent import policy is dangerous and risky namely for importing countries with favorable animal health situation, thanks also to previous successful disease eradication programme (usually very demanding, long time and expensive). These countries logically need higher grade of protection (not admitted by the WTO/SPS and OIE Code !) to avoid reintroduction of already eradicated diseases.
7.10 According to the WTO and OIE antisanitary policy when an importing country asks for the import free of pathogens (healthy animals or innocuous products) or better protection than is the absurd unjustified limit of the OIE Code, which was before absolutely normal, it must now present “scientific justification” of its requirements. The countries are pushed to accept also non pathogen-free commodities! The countries are through this “arrangement” obliged to import diseases, i.e. to import new unexpected problems difficult to solve. These countries are also obliged to pay not only innocuous commodities (with the price as of 100 % sanitary quality), but also the disease import, post-import losses and expensive measures against new epizootics. Profiting exporters generally contribute nothing, thanks also to the alibi created by very problematic WTO/OIE “risk analysis” devaluating the possibility to claim damaging export.
7.11 The WTO/OIE trade policy is favouring only to exporting countries with the surplus of the production that: are unable to guarantee 100 % sanitary quality , i.e. to export healthy animals and innocuous pathogen-free products; are lacking the knowledge of true sanitary situation in the country; are unable significantly improve this situation through effective control and eradication of diseases; are unable to control effectively private veterinarians and laboratories; etc. Those countries are not in the position to guarantee full sanitary quality requiring to export only animals and their products without pathogens.
7.12 Absence of reliable and sufficient information on disease occurrence and measures in exporting country is making impossible to decide correctly on importing conditions (not speaking about so called OIE risk assessment to minimize health guarantee).
7.13 Benevolent import conditions due to professionally unjustified concessions (voluntary or under pressure – locally, by exporters, by OIE and WTO antisanitary policy, etc.) are conducing to weak protective measures against diseases introduction.
7.14 Not clear veterinary import requirements are making impossible uniform understanding and thus conducing to abusing (cheating) by the exporters.
7.15 The problem of risky import of domestic animals and their products is multiplied by the import of enormous number of wild animals without necessary sanitary guarantee.
Example: Marano, N., Arguin, P.M and Pappaioanout P.: Impact of Globalization
and Animal Trade on Infectious Disease Ecology. Emergency Disease Journal,
Volume 13, 12, 2007: “The magnitude of
the global movement of animals is staggering. In terms of sheer numbers,
37,858,179 individually counted live amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles
were legally imported in the
7.16 Several letters sent to DG OIE analyzing critical situation and asking for necessary correction of the OIE policy favouring to disease spreading through international trade were left without any follow-up measures. This documented that the “new” antisanitary policy was not any mistake, it was deliberate action “facilitating international trade “ through importing countries discrimination. Copies of the letters see in http://vaclavkouba.byl.cz/warnings.htm.
8. EXPORT NOT GUARANTEEING HEALTHY ANIMALS AND INNOCUOUS ANIMAL PRODUCTS
8.1 The export not guaranteeing healthy animals and innocuous animal products is usually due to:
a) absence or insufficient knowledge of true situation of individual diseases in the country, zones and herds based only on ad hoc findings: incomplete reports on animal disease situation to international organizations and to importing countries;
b) absence of or insufficient ante-import surveillance and monitoring;
c) absence or insufficient knowledge of true epizootiological situation in places of the origin of exporting animals and animal products;
d) not reliable identification of commodities to be exported;
e) ante-import tests carried out by not always independent and not always reliable non-public and competent specialists;
f) use of diagnostic methods with insufficient sensibility (false negative results) and specificity;
g) not respecting fully import health conditions required by importing country;
h) absence of or insufficient export quarantine;
i) weak public animal health services being unable to monitor animal population health situation and inspect the export on-the-spot;
j) absence of on-the-spot supervision of accredited specialists and laboratories by public service officers.
Abusing OIE risk assessment method the relevant international organizations
such as FAO/WHO
Example: EU DG SANCO E.2 – Hygiene and Control Measures Annual Activity
report 2006, July 2007: “The objective of the Regulation on microbial
criteria is to keep Listeria monocytogenes
contamination below 100 cfu (colony forming units / gram)”. Instead to apply logical full health
protection of the consumers, the EU bureaucrats elaborate every year new “norms”
how to support the profiting exporters at the expense of consumers’ health in
importing countries. The EU has even “special
Biological Risk Section which only in 2005 met 12 times and adopted 19
legislation proposals”. This unit is able to justify “scientifically” any
“risk assessment” nonsense against the will of all consumers within the EU. All
the consumers require
pathogen-free food ! This is so simple ! The tragedy is
that about the consumer health is being decided absolutely non-democratically ! E.g. the representatives of EU member
country governments have different weight for the votes in the Committee: the
major exporters such as
9. INABILITY TO DISCOVER, CONTROL AND ERADICATE IMPORTED COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
Inability to discover, control and eradicate imported pathogens of communicable diseases is usually due to:
a) absence or insufficient country border on-the-spot control by public veterinary service;
b) absence of or insufficient post-import quarantine and thorough etiological investigation (including in laboratories);
c) absence of or insufficient post-import surveillance and monitoring;
d) absence of or insufficient preparedness for eventual import of animal diseases, first of all of exotic ones;
e) absence of or insufficient ability to detect imported diseases in time and to avoid spreading creating secondary outbreaks;
f) absence or insufficient preparedness for introduced diseases effective control and eradication in terms of manpower, funds, legislation, material, etc.;
g) weak public veterinary services being unable to monitor animal population health situation and inspect import on the spot;
h) absence or insufficient supervising of accredited veterinarians carrying out tests in quarantines and during post-quarantine period;
i) absence or insufficient documentation to confirm eventually detected diseases/pathogens in imported animals or products and to facilitate its reliable identification and tracing the disease spread.
j) absence or insufficient requirements for reclamation of eventual import of “hidden” pathogens, i.e. exporting country (agency) to agree in advance about returning defected commodity back or pay the losses (which is absolutely normal in inanimate commodities as it was also in animal commodities before WTO/SPS).
10. LEGAL ARRANGEMENTS FACILITATING COMMUNICABLE DISEASE SPREAD THROUGH TRADE
10.1 Absence of national and international legal codes applying fair trade principles also for the trade in animals and animal products, similarly as in all other commodities.
10.2 Documents of international organizations' benevolent policy admitting or even supporting diseases spreading through international trade, i.e. giving preference to exporting countries and discriminating importing countries ("facilitating export" ??) at the expense of animal and human health such as WTO/SPS and OIE Code (see chapters 12 and 13);
10.3 Absence of
a) international regulations respecting that the trade in animals and their products is much more risky than in all other commodities;
b) national and international legal codes declaring conscious international man-made disease spread as criminal act and in case of zoonoses’ spread as crime against humanity;
c) adequate international standards for "disease free" trade in animal commodities, i.e. free of transmissible disease pathogens;
d) adequate instructions, regulations and rules for international trade not causing disease spreading;
e) adequate legal obligations of farmers, traders, public, etc. to report disease occurrence and to participate in animal protection and disease control;
f) legal authorization of public animal health service for effective control of trade and export measures, supervision of private accredited specialists and diagnostic laboratories testing and issuing official certificates on behalf of the government;
g) national and international legal codes requiring effective protection of animal populations health;
h) legal repressions for not observing animal health laws and regulations, falsification of veterinary certifications, cheating and for man-made spreading of animal diseases;
i) legal duties of exporting traders (businessmen) to cover losses caused by disease pathogens "export";
10.4 Not applying current international principles to abolish international documents which were adopted under pressure and trickery such as WTO/SPS and antisanitary components of the OIE Code. Under normal fair international legal conditions the above mentioned documents based on cheating and swindle cannot be valid ! Obviously, the dominating position of major profiting exporting countries is behind of violating with impunity international conventions, agreements and norms.
10.5 See letters to DG WTO and DG OIE on the same website.
11. NOT APPLYING CURRENT PRINCIPLES OF FAIR INTERNATIONAL TRADE AVOIDING PROBLEMS TO IMPORTING COUNTRIES
11.1 Up to 1994 for international trade in animals and animal products had been valid the same principles as for any other commodities based on the fairness and full quality requirements. Afterward the WTO being assisted by the OIE introduced a “new” policy based on absolutely unfair practice unilaterally favourable to exporting countries not considering negative sanitary consequences in importing countries.
11.2 The major exporting countries unable or not willing to export healthy animals or innocuous animal products managed in 1994 through WTO HQs outrageous trick (see copy of my letters to DG WTO dated 31 January and 15 April 2001 – under “Warnings” on my website) to change the situation passing through “WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures” (WTO/SPS) “to facilitate trade” at the expense of animal and human health in importing countries. The OIE instead of consistent protection of animal health gave up its constitution and duties and even with exaggerated initiative curried favour with the WTO and thus became responsible for the global negative consequences. International trade in animals and animal products as a historical exception due to WTO/SPS and OIE Code became unfair discriminating importing countries:
11.3 Absence of transparency of exporting country situation. The “new” OIE global information system on animal disease occurrences, as follow-up of the WTO/SPS, deliberately reduced ad absurdum previous regular data reporting on all internationally reportable diseases. This antisanitary act made impossible for importing countries to can decide correctly on the import conditions coming out of the knowledge of exporting country epizootiological situation (see on the same website “Global crisis of communicable disease monitoring and surveillance in animal populations facilitating disease spreading”).
11.4 Absence of freedom to select exporting country: For the first time in human history international organizations impose on paying importing countries the duty to present to not selected potential exporting countries so called “scientific justifications” of the refuse.
11.5 Absence of full quality requirements: WTO/SPS and OIE Code for the first in human history, instead of following general global tendency increasing quality requirements, introduced a new “official policy” based on minimizing quality requirements admitting and even supporting export of non-healthy animals and non-innocuous animal products = export of diseases.
11.6 Absence of liberalization of international trade. Both mentioned organizations, instead to provide freedom also to trade in animals and their products, created “legal” conditions for “liberalization of disease export” and thus for disease globalization.
11.7 Absence of freedom to identify import conditions: Previous free trade conditions were changed into strongly regulated trade dictating importing countries absurd duties to minimize veterinary import requirements. Instead of following general global tendency of international trade deregulation, both organizations started absurd regulation unknown in any other commodities. For the first time in human history international organizations abolished the right of paying importing country to decide about import conditions without external interference and dictate against its will, i.e. to have the last word, giving the priority to exporting countries (“to facilitate trade”). Previous very useful OIE Code recommendations, giving importing countries the freedom to decide on the import conditions according to the need of protection of country populations against disease introduction, was converted into obligatory limits admitting disease import. Instead of letting the partner countries to find the solution bilaterally acceptable, WTO/SP and OIE Code interfere in this process openly and unilaterally favouring exporting countries “to facilitate trade”.
11.8 For the first in the history importing country requirement for full quality, i.e. in our case for healthy animals and innocuous animal products, is obliged to “scientifically justify” it. This is something incredible when considering the normal fair practice based on the contrary, i.e. on the duty to justify commodity quality by the exporting country to convince the importing one on the required quality. Never in the human history the importing side, in case of normal demanding full quality commodities, must present to exporting side “disease risk assessment” document to convince exporters on the need of full quality import, in our case to protect animal and human health in importing country. This is one of the absurdities of the WTO/SPS and OIE Code. (See also on the same website “Abuse of disease import risk assessment methods = facilitating disease export”).
11.9 Absence of quality guarantee: Fair international trade is based on quality guarantee documents confirming required features (full quality). From 1995 this is not more valid for the trade in animals and animal products. Instead of guaranteeing that the exported animals are healthy and animal products are innocuous – pathogen-free, the importing country receives, according to the OIE Code, only “international veterinary certificate” which represent a problematic superficial information document (see on the same website “Critical analysis of International Animal Health Code”, chapter 1.2.2).
11.10 Absence of the responsibility for sanitary innocuousness: OIE international veterinary certificates are only information documents not guaranteeing sanitary quality of exported animal commodities, making impossible to identify and punish responsible organizations and persons for disease export. No guarantee = no responsibility. This is other antisanitary face of WTO/SPS and OIE Code.
11.11 Absence of disease import reclamation. Fair international trade applies complaints’ procedures in case of exporting non-quality commodities with the duty to take them back, replace them or pay the losses. This is possible thanks quality guarantee document expressing the responsibility of the exporters. However, WTO/SPS and OIE Code admitting and supporting the export also of non-full-quality commodities are avoiding to apply this normal fair practice of reclamation and therefore the consequences of disease import (losses and additional expenses) must unfortunately bear importing countries themselves.
11.12 Absence of quality and price grading. International trade knows general practice applying prices according to quality grades. WTO/SPS and OIE Code do not know sanitary quality grading. They impose on importing countries to take also non-healthy animals and no-innocuous animal products without any differentiation of sanitary quality. Therefore, importing countries must pay pathogen-affected animals and products as healthy commodities – full price. These incredible consequences represent globally organized by international organizations official robbery of importing countries. Any robbery in civilized societies is a crime which in our case multiplies the crime of man-made disease spreading.
11.13 Absence of importing country farmers and consumers support. WTO/SPS and OIE Code antisanitary trade policy is imposing on importing countries to accept also non-healthy animals and non-innocuous animal products against the will of the farmers and consumers requiring full quality not-creating-problems commodities.
11.14 WTO/SPS and OIE Code have introduced in international trade in animals and animal products a series of absurd requirements having nothing to do with fair trade, scientific principles, biological logic, medical ethics, not applied in any other commodities, not respecting importing country needs for consistent protection of the health of animals and humans. Both organizations bear historical responsibility for the globalization of diseases through international trade. The consequences are catastrophic and irreparable. Health and lives of incalculable millions of animals and men affected by imported pathogens cannot be restored.
Example of WTO/SPS and OIE Code nonsense absurdity if applied theoretically on other importing commodities, such as cars: Importing country cannot refuse to import or require fully functioning cars; it can, but only after presenting to exporting country “scientifically justified” convincing “risk assessment” documents. Importing country cannot refuse cars with imperfect breaks if this kind of cars already exist in the country and must pay full price as for perfect products. Instead of quality guarantee document must be sufficient non-binding information “certificate” on pre-export “measures”. The consequences (losses, additional expenses, etc.) of defected import must pay importing country without any compensation by exporting country (no guarantee = no responsibility).
11.15 The major exporting countries, initiators and fervent defenders of the above mentioned trade deformations “facilitating export” of non-fully sanitary quality goods at the expense of animal and human health in importing countries, managed also to dominate relevant international organizations and to impose artificial atmosphere for accepting above mentioned unfair trade methods.
11.16 The only solution is to abolish immediately above mentioned antisanitary documents and to start applying normal fair trade principles as in all other commodities also in the trade in animals and animal products. (More information on the same website under “WTO Agreement on the Application of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measure”/SPS – justification for its abolition”).
Note: To can appreciate the unfairness of WTO and OIE trade policy, there is necessary to study very carefully, i.e. in details, the relevant documents and confront them with the reality and importing countries’ needs for animal and human health protection.
12. WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION “NEW” POLICY AT THE EXPENSE OF ANIMAL AND HUMAN HEALTH IN IMPORTING COUNTRIES
12.1 See on the same website:
“WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures – justification for its abolition”
Warning letters” to M. Moore, DG WTO dated
“Abuse of disease import risk assessment methods = facilitating disease export”
12.2 This “new” WTO policy for international trade in animals and animal products discriminating and damaging importing countries due to imposed import of animal disease was made possible only thank to extreme benevolence of the OIE. This organization, instead to insist on its original policy consistently protecting animal and human health, simply gave up all medical principles and subordinated itself to a policy contrary to its original duty. Current conflict of interests, which is normal between the traders aiming at maximal profits and public services aiming to maximal protection of animal and human health, was solved unilaterally in favor of business and major exporting countries. The responsibility of the defeat of importing country farmers and consumers interests in importing healthy animals and innocuous animal products has the OIE supporting itself antisanitary policy being priced by the “diseases’ exporters”.
The question arises: what for having the OIE not serving more to consistent protection of animal health ?
See also paragraphs 13.7.12, 13.7.13, 13.7.14 and 13.8
13. INTERNATIONAL OFFICE OF EPIZOOTICS (OIE) “NEW” POLICY AT THE EXPENSE OF ANIMAL AND HUMAN HEALTH IN IMPORTING COUNTRIES
13.1 International Agreement for the Creation of an Office International des
“a. To promote and co-ordinate all experimental and other research work concerning the pathology or prophylaxis of contagious diseases of livestock for which international collaboration is deemed desirable.
b. To collect and bring to the attention of the Governments of their sanitary services, all facts and documents of general interest concerning the spread of epizootic diseases and the means used to control them.
c. To examine international draft agreements regarding animal sanitary measures and to provide signatory Governments with the means of supervising their enforcement.”
The “new” objectives of the OIE published in 2004 were as follows:
“a. To ensure transparency in the global animal disease and zoonosis situation
b. To collect, analyse and disseminate scientific veterinary information
c. To provide expertise and encourage international solidarity in the control of animal diseases
d. Within its mandate under the WTO SPS Agreement, to safeguard world trade by publishing health standards for international trade in animals and animal products
e. To improve the legal framework and resources of national Veterinary Services.
f. To provide a better guarantee of the safety of food of animal origin and to promote animal welfare through a science-based approach.”
When comparing both group of objectives, there is clear that the main priority “concerning spread of epizootic diseases and the means used to control them” disappeared being replaced by the main concern of major exporting countries – to safeguard world trade. No one word of safeguarding world animal health or concern of the spread of epizootic diseases. This change, not cleared officially by the Governments (only by Chief Veterinary Officers), explains the “new” role favouring exporting countries and supporting globalization of contagious animals diseases. The OIE has become an organization of different objectives than the original ones, which are still the most important for global animal population health.
Note: The deviation of the OIE objectives from the original ones is reflected also in OIE publication “75 years 1924-1999” where on 152 pages was not space to quote the OIE main duty “avoiding spread of epizootic diseases” what is today declared by the WTO and the OIE as sanitary barrier !?
13.2 The OIE changed its policy as follow-up of the WTO/SPS to “facilitate trade”. Instead to assist member countries in better protection of animal population health, i.e. the exporting countries to guarantee disease free export, the OIE was converted into “WTO servicing agency” supporting export of also non-healthy animals and non pathogen-free products. The “new” OIE policy, contradictory to the original mission, started admitting and supporting disease introductions into importing countries. OIE started de facto animal disease globalization instead of animal health globalization.
13.3 For the first time in the history an inter-governmental organization has betrayed its constitution and duties loosing its neutrality supporting unilaterally major exporting countries at the expense of the health in importing countries. The incredible irony is that the countries suffering due to unfair OIE trade policy conducing to disease import must pay the contributions to an organization which is damaging them.
13.4 It seems that the OIE is dominated by the theoreticians not having, even not feeling, any responsibility for global animal population health and not considering at all catastrophic global consequences of their antisanitary activities.
13.5 See on the same website:
“Critical analysis of International Animal Health Code”
“Abuse of disease import risk assessment methods = facilitating disease export”
letters” to DG OIE dated
“Global crisis of communicable disease surveillance in animal populations”
13.6 See also on the same website:
“Book reviews” on OIE publications:
“Foot-and-mouth disease: facing the new dilemmas”
“Veterinary services organization”
“Veterinary institutions in the developing world”
“World Animal Health 2003”
“ Terrestrial Animal Health Code 2004”
Note: The OIE is a particular inter-governmental organization outside of the United Nations Organization: it does not know “rotation system” (e.g. during 80 years from its foundation in 1924 all Directors General have been only from one country – France; veterinary chiefs of the WHO and the FAO during last decade have been also Frenchmen); it does not apply non-discrimination principles (countries’ proportionality) within its structure and activities where the major exporting rich countries are much more influential than the others; it does not present to member countries any professional analysis and recommendations for government decisions (e.g. to support public animal health services) as it is normal within the UN system; it has self-declared as “World Organization for Animal Health” without previous legal procedure (legal culture is very low). How long the member country governments will pay an organization not respecting its original constitution and mission when admitting and supporting diseases spreading through international trade instead of consistent animal population health protection ? The OIE resembles a club of CVOs not having any responsibility for animal health in the world making global decisions without any official clearance of their governments and not respecting at all animal and human health in importing countries or opinion of their farmers and consumers. (i.e. the dictate having nothing to do with democratic principles).
13.7 The continuation of antisanitary policy has been confirmed again in the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code 2004, thirteenth edition:
13.7.1 Initial Code editions’ aim was to assure sanitary safety of international trade in animals and their products. Following WTO “Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures” (SPS), prepared in 1994 thanks to incredible pressure of major exporting countries, exaggerated initiative of the OIE and deliberate concealment of negative consequences, the useful OIE Code of recommendations for minimal protection of importing country health were converted into maximal limits. The only purpose was to facilitate trade at the expense of animal and human health in importing countries. The “new” policy was expressed explicitly in the Code published after WTO/SPS: ”Import risk analysis is preferable to a zero risk approach” (Code Special Edition, 1997, art. 188.8.131.52); this principle, without any objective professional impact analysis, feasibility proof, scientific justification and unknown in international trade history, is unimaginable in any other commodity.
The main concern is not to avoid disease spread but to safeguard trade: “adoption and enforcement of sanitary measures in order to minimize their negative effects on international trade” . The Code is not accepting at all trade in healthy animals and their products: “in case where a government chooses to apply stricter measures, the importing country m u s t be able to show that its measure is based on a scientific assessment of the potential health risks.” DG OIE Foreword, pages III and IV. What is “scientific assessment of the potential health risks.” ?
13.7.2 The concept of the Code is entirely contrary to all normal fair trade principles applied in all other commodities: it is based on minimizing importing country protection against disease introduction to maximize profit through minimizing disease control, eradication and investigations in exporting countries being unable to guarantee healthy animals and animal products; it supports export of non-pathogen-free animals and their products; it discriminates importing countries (majority represented by developing ones) imposing on them the duty to accept these commodities and to pay for them as for full sanitary quality ones (foul crime - robbery; “help” to developing countries ?!). According to the Code the importing countries cannot refuse non-pathogen-free animals or products or require better protection of animal and humans health than the OIE absurd limits; in these cases they must present convincing risk assessments to exporting countries (!?) using nonsense OIE methodology requiring even “scientific justification”. This absurdity is unknown in any other commodity! The Code doesn’t know neither quality guarantee documents nor guarantee periods (normal in any other commodity) currently expressing the responsibility of the exporters and giving the possibility to reclaim disease introduction; it requires only non-binding information document. Accredited veterinarian, without any guarantee of his full independence on the exporters, is asked to “certify” only what he knows (no investigation = no knowledge on disease = health) and not sanitary quality, i.e. alibi without any responsibility for eventual disease export. Certifying veterinarian can include what he wants due to absence of effective control and verification. It is very well known that without the supervision the discipline in fulfilling the duties and respecting the regulations are usually very far from being perfect. This “practice”, absolutely unfriendly to importing countries, is unimaginable in any other commodity where the declaration of the quality is imperative and under personal and financial responsibility! In any normal trade exporting side must declare clearly to the importing side what quality is guaranteed and eventually what is not guaranteed conducing to adjusted prices or refuse.
13.7.3 The Code doesn’t apply the simplest principle used in all other commodities, i.e. to require first the export of full quality goods. The Code doesn’t know at all the terms such as “healthy animals”, “pathogen-free animal products”, etc.. According to the Code the importing country cannot demand animals and their products to be free of communicable diseases’ pathogens ! The Code is even declaring these normal requirements as “unjustified sanitary barrier” (page III), “It would be irresponsible and contrary to the principles of encouraging international trade to insist on guarantee as to the absence of commonly found infections that are present in the importing country.” (page VI).“inadmissible health protection measures” and “irresponsible behaviour of importing countries”. This is perverted logic because sanitary barriers are created by exporting country diseases and not by preventive measures.
13.7.4 Among many formulations supporting export of almost all known diseases belongs following texts: “The international veterinary certificate should not include requirements for the exclusion of pathogens or animal diseases which are present within the territory of the importing country and are not subject to any official control programme” (art.184.108.40.206). Page VI, paragraph C.2: “International veterinary certificates are intended to facilitate trade and should not be used to impede it by imposing unjustified health conditions.” Who decides what is “unjustified” ? Page VI, paragraph C.3: “ The steps to be followed when drafting international veterinary certificates are as follows: a) list the diseases against which the importing country is justified in seeking protection;” What about all other diseases ? They must be permitted to be imported !? The requirement for the protection against all diseases is not justified ? Who decides what is “justified” ? It is logical that exporting country has usually opposite opinion than importing one, namely when being asked to guarantee healthy animals and their products, i.e. free of pathogens ! The importing countries need pathogen-free import, i.e. free of all organisms capable of causing disease ! Eventual other solution is the problem of bilateral agreement without external interference or dictate of WTO/SPS, OIE Code etc..
13.7.5 In article 220.127.116.11 is again the formulation admitting disease spreading: “information is necessary to minimize the spread of important animal diseases...” The Code is not interested in avoiding, only in minimising, the spread of important (not all) animal diseases. In article 18.104.22.168 is again the formulation avoiding at all sanitary guarantee: “Certificates… should not require a veterinarian to certify matters that are outside his/her knowledge or which he/she cannot ascertain and verify.” This is other clear instruction not to certify the real quality, only to inform on the results of the investigations, if any.
13.7.6 The Code, not knowing at all trade in healthy animals and pathogen-free animal products, is seeking any form, open or hidden, how to facilitate the export of unhealthy animals and non innocuous products. It doesn’t respect general tendency of trade deregulation applied in any other commodity. The Code, instead of giving importing country freedom to decide on exporting country selection and on bilateral import condition agreement without any outside dictate as it was before, has imposed forcible super-regulations conducing to pathogens’ export “liberalization” (= international crime). The Code is supporting export of difficult-to-solve sanitary problems into importing country which must pay for them plus expenses of imported disease control and eradication; duties of disease exporting countries are always omitted. The Code is abusing the weakness of public veterinary service of importing countries, mainly of almost defenceless developing ones.
13.7.7 Some chapters such as extremely wordy Certification procedures (chapter 1.2.2), Evaluation of veterinary services (chapter 1.3.3), Risk analysis (chapters 1.3.2 and 1.3.3), Guidelines for reaching judgement of equivalence of sanitary measures (chapter 1.3.7) as a novelty, etc. requiring exaggerated number of data (not available even in the most developed countries not knowing reportable diseases’ occurrence, animal populations’ size, etc.) represent a nonsense theoretical fantasy to divert importing countries’ attention from the main and only concern – to avoid pathogens’ import.
Example: The top of the non-sense is the article 22.214.171.124. E.g.: “The risk assessment should be based on the best available information that is in accord with current scientific thinking. The assessment should be well documented and supported with references to the scientific literature and other sources, including expert opinion.” “.. transparency is essential in order to ensure fairness and rationality, consistency in decision making and ease of understanding by all the interested parties.” The OIE methodology would require a big well staffed and equipped and financed institute to work a longer period to produce a document which in final is not acceptable by the exporting countries in case of supporting necessary protection of importing countries complicating the export. How can countries having minimum number of veterinarians lacking of almost everything elaborate these documents ? The OIE method is not feasible even in the most developed countries which were obviously behind this professional spoilage (waste) – science-fiction to “facilitate export”. The method serves only to hidden the truth about sanitary situation in exporting countries and to cheat importing countries.
The simple and logical requirements for importing healthy animals and innocuous products, i.e. free of communicable disease pathogens, do not need any scientific justification !
13.7.8 The Code omits entirely export conditions for meat which represents about one half of the value of all exported animals and animal products in the world. Only in the model of international veterinary certificate for meat is included that “meat comes from animals or birds slaughtered in abattoirs” and “is considered as fit for human consumption”, however without any definition (everybody can understand it differently) and any requirement to guarantee pathogen-free status. No one word on investigations/control system and that the meat should come from healthy animals. Similarly the term “edible” is without any definition. The meat represents the most mass, the most rapid and most frequent vehicle for pathogens spreading through trade into incalculable places of distribution and use.
13.7.9 All models of international certificates end by “the conditions are in accordance with the option provided in this Code”, i.e. again avoiding importing countries to ask for disease/pathogen-free guarantee pushing them to accept the often absurd minimum requirements dictated by the Code and WTO/SPS.
13.7.10 The Code doesn’t respect at all: needs of importing country health protection to avoid negative impacts on animal and human health (OIE hasn’t presented to member country governments any analysis of the Code catastrophic consequences); that every case is different; that every country has different epizootiological situation, different veterinary service organization and its ability to control sanitary situation and trade; features’ variability of diseases and their etiological agents (e.g. new strains, new species); false negative results of diagnostic tests; extremely complex influencing factors; that the majority of exporting countries do not know real epizootiological situation in own territory; transparency (e.g. extremely wordy text issued every year without marking the changes, fogging key needs of importing countries, incredible mess of BSE chapters); scientific methods based on solid analyses of reliable data on the Code impacts in disease importing countries; scientific logic (declaring a territory as disease free in spite of its occurrence – e.g. in bovine brucellosis, tuberculosis, leukosis, etc.); statistical principles (samplings unable to confirm disease free status – ad absurdum minimal number of samples, admitting 5% of zoonotic salmonellosis, etc.); taxonomy (e.g. for the Code the term Brucella melitensis is not existing); medical ethics (supporting disease spreading); editorial culture (e.g. confusing “WTO” by “WHO”, “agreement” by “law” even in DG OIE short Foreword), etc..
13.7.11 To facilitate even more pathogens’ export, the
Code as a “novelty” abolished traditional logical disease
classification according to their importance mixing killing diseases
(previous List A) with diseases of
lower importance (previous List B). This change is favourable only
to exporting countries unable to eradicate some List A diseases (e.g. African
swine fever and swine vesicular disease in
13.7.12 Cheating importing countries started by WTO/SPS with attractive but hypocritical preamble "Desiring to improve the human health, animal health .. in all Members;" while in this document as well as in the OIE Code is no one word about the improvement of the health; on the contrary both documents are dedicated only how to "facilitate trade" at the expense of importing country health! The OIE, after admitting reduction of public veterinary services, continued by deforming information system on disease occurrence (= significantly less information than before), deliberate abolishing collection of data on disease import, using texts “cleverly” masking support of disease export, fraudulently abusing risk assessment, avoiding Code impact analyses, concealing the truth on disastrous consequences from importing country governments and world public, etc.. The Code doesn’t respect at all the opinion of importing country farmers and consumers and decides irresponsibly about health, life and death of incalculable numbers of animals and humans exposed to and affected by imported pathogens.
13.7.13 The OIE Code and WTO/SPS are obviously the work of the same exporting countries not having, according to OIE World Animal Health, necessary knowledge on own sanitary situation, not being able to export healthy animals and pathogen-free animal products, having very weak government veterinary service unable to supervise effectively trade and private veterinarians issuing international certificates, however having decisive influence on both organizations. The international documents “approved” under the pressure or through the trickery (swindle, lies, corruption, menace, dictate, deliberate concealment of negative consequences, etc.) cannot be valid !
13.7.14 Internationally binding rules, such as OIE Code, require clearance by the governments themselves and not by very problematic, relatively easily to be influenced, “consensus among the highest veterinary health authorities of the Member Countries” (page III). There is a tragedy of veterinary medicine when international organization founded and being paid to protect animal health in the world has published a “standard” supporting globalization of communicable diseases. It is unimaginable that all governments and Chief Veterinary Officers of importing countries consciously and voluntarily would agree with disease import and thus would accept animals and humans in their countries to suffer and die due to imported pathogens ! This reflects how deep the OIE has fallen in cheating importing countries. One day these countries will know the truth and react (heaven help OIE !), but it will be too late for recovering already lost animal and human health and lives due to imported pathogens.
13.8 Every international organization financed by the member country governments is evaluated according to final practical results at global or regional levels and not according to the number of meetings, publications, theoretical documents and other paperwork. The global impact of the OIE activities after the WTO/SPS is catastrophic due to supporting diseases’ spreading and calls for complete revision of the OIE policy and programmes to safe this extra-UN organization for the future. The cheating member country governments cannot be everlasting. However, the consequences will be unfortunately continual due to impossibility to eradicate imported spread and spreading diseases.
13.9 The hypocrisy of the OIE policy consists also in admitting and supporting through the Code the diseases’ spreading into importing countries and simultaneously in other documents is advising how to control and eradicate imported diseases.
13.10 The Code doesn’t mention at all how to improve sanitary situation in exporting countries to “facilitate trade”, stabilize trade relations and channels, etc. The OIE is obviously not interested in increasing national production of importing countries to achieve as great as possible self-sufficiency to reduce or avoid risky imports.
13.11 The Code instead of supporting pathogen-free export tries to complicate even more the importing country health protection. As a “novelty” is included so called “Guidelines for reaching a judgment of equivalence of sanitary measures” (chapter 1.3.7). This chapter is a new swindle how to “facilitate diseases’ export” through further degradation of importing country defence. This nonsense chapter doesn’t take into consideration that every case is different, epizootiological situation is different, sanitary measures are different and that the real situation in exporting countries is unknown ! This chapter is again artificial based on risk assessment fantasy having nothing to do with the reality.
Note: Epizootiological equivalence could be identified only very exceptionally between countries with selected well controlled and guaranteed specific disease free long-term status.
13.12 Article 126.96.36.199: “It is now recognised that significantly different animal health and production systems can provide equivalent animal and human health protection for the purpose of international trade, with benefits to both the importing country and the exporting country.” Who has recognized this ? The benefit will be only for exporting countries to can export easier and more profitably at the expense of importing country health. The Code repeatedly mentions “be appropriately protected”, but what it means and who should decide it. In the article 188.8.131.52 is clearly described the “benefit” which is, as all the Code, unilaterally favourable to exporting countries: “minimizing costs associated with international trade, facilitating trade by achieving the requires health protection through less trade restrictive sanitary measures and decreased reliance on relatively costly commodity testing and isolation procedures…”. The Code again instructs to reduce importing country protection avoiding idea on pathogen-free export, reducing or abolishing today already minimal requirements for testing and isolation procedures and thus to increase exporters’ profit. In other words, the Code again in this chapter is pushing importing countries to accept not healthy animals and non-innocuous animal products using this time further form of the cheating. The OIE World Animal Health is demonstrating that the countries do not know true epizootiological situation and therefore it cannot be any real equivalence. This anti-sanitary step reminds the statement of Prof.Dr. V. Caporale, President, OIE Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases (see paragraph 18.6).
13.13 Article 184.108.40.206: “ It is essential to apply a scientific risk analysis to the extent practicable in establishing the basis for a judgement of equivalence”. Again, there is used the swindle with so called “scientific risk analysis” developed mainly by Dr S. MacDiarmid, Secretary-General, OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission (see paragraphs 18.7 and 18.8). Even his home country doesn’t know well and control effectively epizootiological situation required for “equivalence procedures” (referring to OIE World Animal Health yearbook). This is demonstrated in the section 1.3 of the paper “Critical Analysis of International Animal Health Code” on my website. Again new component of the Code based on theoretical mess, having nothing to do with the science (the Code is full of the term “scientific” in spite of not respecting the basic scientific principles), without any scientific and practical justification, proof of feasibility, risk analysis of consequences for importing countries and clear identification of their promised benefit. This kind of “procedures” is degrading the Code to political instrument and seriously damaging the prestige of the OIE.
13.14 In the article 220.127.116.11 there a list of definitions again confirming the concept unfriendly to importing countries. E.g. “Sanitary measures: Any measures applied to protect animal or human health or life within the territory of the Member Country from risks arising from the entry, establishment or spread of a hazard.” In other words, to apply sanitary measures is addressed only to importing countries and not to exporting ones ! The Code openly calculates with pathogens’ export ! There is a reference “A detailed definition of sanitary measures may be found in the WTO SPS Agreement.” This is very strange that definition of these veterinary measures must be traced in a document outside of the OIE Code having more than 500 pages. (Note: the definition in the WTO SPS is an incredible mess mixing everything possible camouflaging importing countries).
13.15 The extremely wordy articles 18.104.22.168 Prerequisite consideration in a judgement of equivalence, 22.214.171.124 Principles for judgement of equivalence and 126.96.36.199 Sequence of steps to be taken in judgement of equivalence demonstrates once more that the authors have no any idea about the reality in the countries, mainly importing developing ones. The irresponsible “pseudo-scientists” fabricate artificial super-theoretical chimerical “procedures” how to facilitate even more and cheaper the export of non healthy animals and products regardless of importing country animal and human health consequences due to imported pathogens.
Notes: Members of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission (2003-2006): Dr A. Thiermann (USA), President, Dr Wolf-Arno Valder (Germany), Vice President, Dr S.C.MacDiarmid (New Zealand), Secretary General and Prof. A. Panin (Russia), Dr S.K. Hargreaves (Zimbabwe) and Dr A. Hassan as the members.
The Code would have serious difficulties to pass current scientific opponent procedures used at the universities and research institutions (most probably it wouldn’t pass).
14. INABILITY OF PUBLIC VETERINARY SERVICES TO CONTROL OF EPIZOOTIOLOGICAL SITUATION AND TRADE
14.1 See on the same website:
“Global crisis of public professional veterinary manpower”
14.2 ”Since the mid-1980s structural adjustment programmes in developing countries have led to a demand for the privatization of veterinary services, thus aiming at drastically diminishing the role of the state in these activities. Surveillance, early warning, laboratory diagnostic services, planning, regulation and management of disease control programme, as well as ensuring the quality and safety of animal products were secondary considerations. The chain of veterinary command that required notification of disease outbreaks enabling a response to disease emergency and which also ensured the management of national disease control programme, was often dismantled.” In :Rweyemamu M.M. and Astudillo V.M. (2003). - Global perspectives for foot and mouth disease control . Rev.sci.tech.Off.int.Epiz. 21 (3): 765-773.
14.3 These words are valid not only for developing countries but also for the majority of the other countries, in particular for the most important exporting ones.
There is difficult to imagine how numerically relatively weak government veterinary service staff of some countries can cope with and be responsible for country animal population health protection and disease control, human protection against zoonoses (incl. food hygiene) as well as for sanitary guarantee of exporting animals and their products when for example (not considering territory size) according OIE World Animal Health 2000:
- USA with 2,607 government veterinary officials reported 96,700,000 heads of cattle and 59,074,000 pigs, export of 243,394 heads of cattle, 405,705 sheep , 206,659 pigs and 4,586,088 t meat and import of 2,505,279 heads of cattle, 5,741,275 pigs and 1,701,935 t meat; slaughtered 37,588,000 heads of cattle, 98,106,000 pigs and 3,527,000 sheep;
- Australia with 549 government veterinary officials reported 50,669,000 heads of cattle, 113,000,000 sheep and export of 6,078,287 sheep ( 223,000,000 US$ value), 972,340 heads of cattle and 1,466,968 t meat; slaughtered 8,649,000 heads of cattle, 5,014,000 pigs and 33,565,000 sheep;
- Canada with 670 government veterinary officials reported 13,699,000 heads of cattle and 14,367,100 pigs, export of 1,690,708 heads of cattle, 5,741,363 pigs, 139,692 sheep and 1,424,057 t meat and import of 511,987 t meat; slaughtered 3,838,300 heads of cattle, 19,684,400 pigs and 611,800 sheep;
14.4 Minimized government animal health services
a) are not able to control on-the-spot animal diseases and trade, issue certificates for international trade, supervise accredited veterinarians (incl. control retesting trade commodities), to organize effective country population protection, disease reduction and eradication programmes;
b) are limited to administrative "armchair" work, e.g. to process reported data (usually incomplete) for describing animal health/disease situation without being able to organize and manage effective follow-up actions for actively changing it.
14.5 Zero or minimal knowledge of new emerging diseases
a) Very serious risk for importing countries represent new emerging diseases or new emerging more dangerous mutants of certain known pathogens when logically exporting countries cannot have any idea about specific disease epizootiological situation. In this case international trade propagates this disease without any limitation up to a moment of international awareness.
Example: Bovine spongiform
encephalopathy newly discovered in and exported by
b) Similar consequences have those diseases which are difficult to diagnose due to not yet existing and available reliable diagnostic methods (low sensitivity).
Example: Enzootic bovine leucosis
was internationally reported firstly during the fifties in
14.6 Zero or minimal knowledge of non-notifiable diseases’ situation
a) The overwhelming majority of transmissible animal diseases are not notifiable, i.e. their occurrence is not reported to animal health authorities. Therefore, government public service has no idea about the real situation. Private veterinary service doesn’t care about these diseases. These diseases are not included in the OIE International Code for the trade in animals and animal products. They propagate freely through national and international trade in animals and their products.
b) Non-notifiable diseases however create problems to the farmers who have bought animals affected by these internationally not reportable diseases. Importing country need to introduce only animals without any disease problem.
Example: Among imported Red
Danish cattle (pregnant heifers, cows, semen bulls, etc.) in
c) Similarly, internationally non-reportable diseases, even important zoonoses, are spreading almost freely.
Example: Salmonella, even the
most dangerous serotypes such as Salmonella
typhi murium and Salmonella
enteritidis, in cattle and in pigs and in its products (beef, pork, etc.)
is not internationally reportable (according to the OIE) in spite of author’s suggestions
sent several times to the Directors General of the OIE. This OIE policy facilitates
salmonella spreading through international trade in spite of “official OIE
international veterinary certificate” which doesn’t provide any salmonella-free
guarantee. E.g. in 1995 in frozen liver imported legally from
d) Also in diseases internationally reportable can arise problems related to different understanding of diagnostic method results between exporting and importing countries. Usually importing country criteria of diagnosis results interpretation are more demanding (to avoid the risk of specific disease introduction) than the exporting country ones .
Example: In the middle of the
e) Conditional pathogens which can provoke under certain circumstances (e.g. stress) serious diseases are out of interest of public and private veterinary services as well as of international organizations such as FAO and OIE. Therefore, these pathogens are freely propagated through national and international trade.
f) It is generally known that mixing imported clinically healthy herds with local ones, i.e. mixing different herd microfloras, can provoke mixed herd stress and cause the emergence of latent infections following by lossess, mainly among young animals. This problem is usually not considered when deciding about animal import.
15. MINIMAL RESEARCH IN DIAGNOSIS AND EFFECTIVE PROTECTION OF ANIMAL POPULATION HEALTH AT TERRITORIAL LEVEL
15.1 Effective measure to avoid export of animal diseases and control of eventually imported diseases depends on many factors. Among them belong the absence of or insufficient research in diagnosis and protection of animal population health.
15.2 Today there do not exist research programme for analyzing global animal populations disease occurrence to provide international and national decision makers necessary data for identifying priority diseases and problems to avoid their spreading through international trade.
15.3 As the consequence the real epizootiological situation in the world is almost unknown and not properly monitored. There is serious absence of necessary data due to OIE significant and deliberate reduction of previous satisfactory global animal health information system. Therefore, global programme against animal disease spreading is non existent and these diseases are spreading as never in the history. Deliberate abolition by the OIE of global regular reporting on disease import cases makes impossible to analyze the main ways of international disease spreading - through international trade (supposedly “to facilitate trade” ?).
15.4 Epizootiological or veterinary epidemiological research has been concentrated on the solution of local fragmented problems at farm or limited territory prevention and disease control. Minimum attention has been given to national research of animal population health/disease and the disease export/import risk for practical application to avoid pathogens’ international spread through trade.
15.5 Within the framework of OIE or FAO or WHO reference laboratories and collaborating centers networks it does not exist any serious global research programme targeted to protect globally animal population health and to include into global eradication programmes more important diseases beside successful global rinderpest eradication campaign under the leadership of the FAO.
15.6 Above mentioned inter-governmental organization up today have not started any global anti-epizootic research programme how to bloc international spreading of animal diseases, first of all through international trade. They are even not interested in available analysis of catastrophic situation – problem underestimation or preferring the comfort of big armchairs for their professional staff “hiding heads in the sand”.
15.7 Existing research does not appreciate fundamental differences between local and population level diagnosis of epizootiological situation, between local and population levels, preventive, control and eradication levels, between national, international and global territories levels. The demandingness is increasing simultaneously with increasing of population and territory size.
Even the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economic
of the World Veterinary Association organizing regularly global symposia is giving priorities to local
problems (less work and responsibility for the result in local practice) than
to global problems (immense work under very difficult conditions and high
responsibility for the results in global practice) deliberately bypassing
extremely urgent problems of veterinary medicine. This organization is even
supporting without any scientific data analysis, professional logic and
responsibility the WTO/SPS and OIE Code anti-sanitary policy conducing
to the globalization of communicable animal diseases through international
trade. This society has become morally co-responsible for rapidly worsening of
epizootiological situation in the world. The organizers even blocked discussion
on this topic at the last two international symposia in Breckenridge (USA) in
15.9 The supporters of the WTO/SPS and OIE antisanitary policy created an atmosphere in veterinary scientists global circles and global scientific veterinary publications (e.g. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Rev.Sci.tech.Int.Off.Epiz., etc.) expressed in a taboo to avoid any critics, critical analysis (even based on real officially reported cases) or doubt about the new “trade” policy. There have been published thousands of articles supporting slavishly, without any scientific analysis based on real facts. This policy is conducing rapidly to the global worsening of animal health situation in the world. Basic principles in scientific discussions, such as “Audiatur et altera pars”, are by the above mentioned “scientists” absolutely not respected.
16. MINIMAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN DIAGNOSIS AND PROTECTION OF ANIMAL POPULATION HEALTH AT TERRITORIAL LEVEL
16.1 The spread of communicable diseases through international trade in animals and animal products is facilitated also thanks to absence or insufficient education and training in the diagnosis and protection of animal population health.
16.2 The prevailing concept of veterinary education and training is concentrated on the diagnosis of diseased animals, diseased herds, affected populations and territories. However, for the trade in healthy animals and pathogen-free animal products there is a need to give the priority to the diagnosis confirming healthy animals, generally and specifically healthy herds, specific disease-free populations, zones and territories as well as pathogen-free animal products. This type of diagnosis is much more demanding but necessary for certifying disease free animals and products to be exported.
Example: To confirm salmonella occurrence in a flock is sufficient to isolate it in one case. However the confirmation of salmonella-free status of a flock requires a complex investigations including not only clinical and microbiological methods using adequate sampling but also epizootiological and where possible also post-mortem investigations of dead or suspect animals; negative results no in all cases means salmonella-free status a therefore the epizootiological investigations of the flock considering its history and isolation conditions is necessary.
16.3 Unfortunately, the trade-oriented diagnosis procedures to confirm disease-free status are not taught or only superficially in the majority of veterinary faculties and post-graduate training courses. The majority of veterinarians issuing international certificates for the export are not adequately trained and qualified for certifying sanitary truth, i.e. confirming health of animals and pathogen-free status of animal products or specific disease free herds/flock and zones.
The tragedy is that the OIE Code, instead of asking for certifying sanitary truth, instructs to issue only information document based on veterinarian knowledge, i.e. no investigation = no disease = health. As the consequence are incalculable cases of disease import supported by the OIE International Veterinary Certificates not guaranteeing pathogen-free export. The Code conduces to minimizing of ante-export investigations saving inputs of exporting countries at the expense of importing country health.
16.4 In the majority of veterinary faculties absolute priority is given to curative medicine of individually sick animals and population veterinary medicine including population preventive medicine is extraordinary underestimated, i.e. teaching minimal number of hours and dedicated mainly to administrative epidemiology using computers and theory. However, the problem of population medicine including preventive and control/eradication measures starts and ends in the field practice. The education and training for these problems’ solution based on complex epizootiological investigations are missing or minimal in the majority of veterinary faculties and training courses. Other problem is that the majority of teachers of the mentioned subjects are without field practice experience and therefore they prefer easier classroom theory without seeing or working with animals.
16.5 In many veterinary faculties and postgraduate courses, influenced by major exporting countries’ “examples”, experts and publications, the teaching of population medicine was converted in so called “veterinary epidemiology” based on statistics and economics forgetting that this subject is of biological character having extraordinary impact on international trade. “Paper veterinary epidemiologists” cannot be able to investigate practically sanitary situation at population level and identify correctly the population health status and anti-epizootic preventive and control measures. More comments see on the same website under “Book Review – Dictionary of Veterinary Epidemiology”.
Examples: After the Second World War in Central and Eastern European veterinary faculties were introduced very strong undergraduate curriculum subjects of population and preventive medicine. Starting by the 1990’s there were imposed “western models” minimizing or abolishing these subjects at the expense of significant strengthening of curative medicine subjects. The action-oriented “epizootiology” with strong practical training (including simulation exercises) was converted into theoretical “veterinary epidemiology”. Many fellows from developing countries after passing postgraduate “veterinary epidemiology” study in some international training institutes were able at home to analyze numeric data (using even super-complicated formulae) and to model theoretical situations but were unable to investigate on the spot health/disease situation in local animal populations and identify the diagnosis and practical control/eradication measures.
16.6 In many exporting countries the international veterinary certificates are issued only by private “accredited” veterinarians due to absence of government veterinary officials who even are not able to supervise effectively certificate-issuing veterinarians. In some countries the accreditation for this purposes have got practically all private veterinarians, majority of them without corresponding professional preparation. Even short postgraduate courses (very often without practical training and final exams) cannot replace “full blood” undergraduate preparation with sufficient time allocation in the field of population medicine (epizootiology or veterinary epidemiology).
16.7 Above mentioned comments on insufficient education and training is valid also for preventive veterinary medicine at population level. Poorly prepared professionals are not able to identify correctly protective measures against the introduction of animal disease pathogens and to detect in time introduced diseases with effective follow-up action for their control and eradication. Overwhelming majority of newly graduate veterinarians are well prepared for curative medicine assuring for them the employment and income which is not the case in preventive medicine being mainly under government responsibility. Due to the fact that in the majority of countries public veterinary services are weak and private sector is not always reliable, imported diseases are very often not detected in time to avoid secondary outbreaks.
16.8 Insufficient preparation of veterinary professionals in exporting and importing countries shares important responsibility for continuing rapid worsening of communicable diseases’ situation in the world through very bad control of international trade in animals and animal products.
16.9 The tragedy is that veterinary education “family” represented by about five hundred veterinary faculties in the world doesn’t care at all about actual global animal health/disease situation and its rapid irreparable worsening. They have obviously other priorities limited in time and space being influenced mainly by economic and not biological and ethical factors. They are not interested in future fate of global animal and human populations’ health. They have bad example in the OIE policy supporting spread of diseases through trade (including training courses on risk assessment how to export non healthy animals and non-pathogen free animal products).
16.10 The tragedy is also the absence of any global coordination of animal health professional education and training. No any inter-governmental organization involved in animal health is analyzing veterinary education situation in the world and providing member country governments by the recommendations for further development and orientation in this extraordinary field. The post of Animal Health Officer (Research and Education) at FAO HQs responsible for this field of activities was abolished due to economic reasons at the beginning of the 1980’s. The recommendations of the FAO/WHO Expert Consultations on Veterinary Education (last the fifth was in 1995) how to improve veterinary education system, including preventive veterinary medicine, were unfortunately left without practical implementations. Instead of strengthening preventive medicine, i.e. to avoid disease spreading, has been strengthened almost ad absurdum the curative (luxurious) programme at the expense of preventive one. Today global animal health education policy is practically not existing. Without qualified staff cannot be expected effective preventive measures in international trade.
17. HUMAN FACTORS FACILITATING SPREAD OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASES THROUGH INTERNATIONAL TRADE
17.1 Human factors are influencing positively or negatively any human activity. Therefore this is applicable also on veterinary services personnel. In our case these factors are extremely important namely for public veterinary services staff and private “accredited” veterinarians in the field and diagnostic laboratories investigating animals and animal products to be traded and exported.
17.2 These factors can have important role particularly when supervision control is lacking or non efficient. It is generally known that where the supervision is missing, the negative human factors have the space for their application beginning with the corruption up to falsification of export documents. How insufficient disease knowledge and control as well as effective supervision of accredited veterinarians and laboratories is in many exporting countries almost zero is documented on the same website in the text of “Global crisis of public professional veterinary manpower”. Weak public veterinary services are unable to control the situation which is in the hand of almost non-controllable and non-punishable private veterinarians having opposite, i.e. different priority - maximal profit in comparison with public services - maximal protection of animal health.
17.3 Different human factors facilitating spread of communicable diseases through international trade in animals and animal products:
a) Exporting country not reporting true disease situation (deliberately or due to deficient national reporting system, e.g. notifiability covering only short list of diseases, low discipline in disease reporting, etc.);
b) distrust, due to past experience, in exporting country diseases reporting, attests, guarantees, professional competence and responsibility of accredited veterinarians investigating animals and their products for export and issuing the certificates;
c) diseases import risk underestimation by exporting country Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) trying to convince importing country CVO to accept also non-healthy animals and non-innocuous animal products using unfair unilateral arguments favourable to the exporters
d) diseases import risk underestimation by importing country CVO unable to resist outside pressure of WTO/SPS, OIE, national traders, politicians, economists, irresponsible influential veterinary “scientists” etc. to make import conditions benevolent and to “forget” the need and duty to protect consistently country animal and human health;
e) not taking lesson from previous disease introduction (to continue in importing from countries known as the exporters of pathogens);
f) inexperience of veterinarians of public services (disease control, trade inspection, veterinary supervision) and non-government services (first of all of accredited veterinarians carrying out tests and issuing health attests);
g) insufficient preparation of animal health professionals in animal population medicine, population health diagnosis and measures (see chapter 16);
h) errors in field practice, diagnostic laboratories, decision making, etc.;
i) corruption, cheating (e.g. WTO cheating member country governments to get through antisanitary WTO/SPS), blackmailing, lobbying (e.g. of major exporting countries “to facilitate trade” at the expense of importing ones);
j) falsification of identity and health certificates;
k) abusing "disease free zoning" (self-declared in spite of incidence demonstrating that the disease is not under necessary control) and not respecting permeability of the "zone borders";
l) low discipline in observing laws, regulations, norms and measures abusing impunity practice;
this is valid mainly in those countries lacking or having very weak public veterinary service – not having adequate capacity and supervisory powers with respect to private veterinary service;
m) low legal authority of animal health services combined with low support by government, public, farmers, etc.;
n) giving priority to the profit not respecting medical ethics and Hippocratic Oath;
o) consumer and farmer fear of risky commodity import (WTO-SPS and OIE Code were not discussed with the consumers and farmers to get their endorsement to import non-healthy animals and not-innocuous animal products !);
p) decision-makers (CVOs) fear of risking the lost of their posts in case to resist their supervisors who ask for benevolence in defining import conditions not respecting professional logic to protect country territory against disease introduction;
q) hypocrisy of internationally influential officers declaring, publishing and instructing others on different procedures while themselves are not respecting them in their home countries (e.g. OIE HQs staff, OIE commission members, inexperienced international advisers, etc.); declaring the need for animal and human protection, food hygiene, consumer protection, animal welfare etc. while pushing forward programmes going against these declarations (e.g. WTO and OIE “new” trade policy). The WTO/SPS and the OIE Code are full of term “scientific”, “scientific justification” etc. while their provisions for international trade have nothing to do with the science and are not scientifically justified (= camouflage) representing only often very problematic consensus of the CVOs (see on the same website “Critical analysis of International Animal Health Code”).
WTO/SPS starts with attractive and promising statement "Desiring
to improve the human health, animal health .. in all Members;".
However, in the whole document is no one word about the improvement of the
health ! In contrast with this statement the SPS is concerned only how to
"facilitate trade" at the expense of human and animal health in
importing countries! This was further swindle to influence countries'
decision to approve SPS ! The main swindle was when presenting SPS to country
governments (see my letter dated
17.4 Irresponsibility and low professional competence of the OIE HQs and WTO HQs staff and “experts” who have elaborated documents supporting disease spreading through international trade against the will of importing countries, medical ethics and epizootiological principles for animal population health protection and for disease control; the ruthlessness of these “experts” conduces to their role as “gravediggers” of animal population medicine.
17.5 Who gave the right to the mentioned organizations and their “experts” to elaborate, adopt and propagate documents detrimental to the health of importing countries’ animal and human populations ? In civilized society conscious spreading of diseases is considered as the crime. Therefore, conscious and organized disease spread through international trade must be considered as non pardonable international crime and in case of zoonoses as the crime against humanity. It can be understood as real global bioterrorism.
17.6 The actual policy of the WTO and OIE represents a brutal act of violence against farmers and other animal owners as well as against the consumers of food of animal origin when imposing on them to accept import of non-healthy animals and non-innocuous animal products.
17.7 Unscrupulousness not respecting the others, i.e. discriminating weaker partners, not respecting unfavourable conditions for the implementation of international trade provisions (e.g. WTO/SPS and OIE Code do not respect the needs and possibilities of the poorest member countries to meet all the requirements as the rich ones). Similarly, there is a absence of respect to other opinion than the official one. There is a taboo to publish any critique of the antisanitary WTO and OIE trade policy. Basic scientific principle “audiatur et altera pars” is not respected at all.
17.8 Not respecting democratic principles when adopting new sanitary provisions for international trade. E.g. using acclamation (easier to be influenced by stronger partners) instead of secret voting when adopting OIE Code provisions, animal health information system etc. having impact on international trade. Not giving the chance to the final users (farmers, consumers, etc.) of the international trade to express their view on animal commodities health quality to be considered when adopting the above mentioned provisions. Not giving the same chance for being selected as the OIE officers or experts to all member countries. The comments on the discrimination of importing countries which are not in privileged position see in chapter 19.
Note: If we consider that
17.8 Errare humanum est ! This proverb is not more valid for the WTO and OIE policy. In spite of all protests, warnings and suggestions during the last ten years, the “new” antisanitary policy has not been changed at all while continuing supporting trade in non-healthy animals and non-innocuous animal products, i.e. disease introduction into importing countries. Actual WTO and OIE policy is conscious and deliberate and not any error !
18. DANGEROUS “PHILOSOPHY” FACILITATING AND SUPPORTING DISEASE SPREADING THROUGH INTERNATIONAL TRADE
18.1 "Import risk analysis is preferable to a zero-risk approach"; (OIE Code 1997, article 188.8.131.52); this is a perverse statement in favour of exporting countries being unable to guarantee health of traded animals or pathogen-free animal products in contrast with the principles of fair trade to export full quality commodities, i.e. avoiding risk for importing countries.
18.2 "facilitate international trade by unimpeded flow of trade of animals and animal products"; (Code 2001, Art. 184.108.40.206); this statement documents the subordination of the OIE to WTO policy not respecting consistent protection of animal and human health in importing countries.
18.3) "It would be irresponsible and contrary to the principles of encouraging international trade to insist on guarantees as to the absence of commonly found infections that are present in the importing country." (OIE Code 2001, page VI, C. 2). This nonsense means that to require importing healthy animals and innocuous animal products is irresponsible. (?!). The real irresponsibility is of the OIE Code texts and exporting country behaviour admitting and supporting diseases spreading through trade !
18.4 "sample required to give a probability of 95 % to detect one positive sample given that infection is present in the population at a level of 5 % or greater". (Code 2001, art. 220.127.116.11); this antisanitary professional nonsense represents open support of exporting “legally according to OIE” animal-carriers !
18.5 B.Vallat (France), Director General, OIE and D.W.Wilson (Australia) referring to the OIE Code recommended “that an international veterinary certificate not include requirements for the exclusion of pathogens or animal diseases which are present within the importing country and are not subject to any official control programme in that country.” in the paper entitled “The obligations of member Countries of the OIE (World organization for animal health) in the organization of Veterinary Services” (Rev. sci. tech. Off. Int. Epiz., 2003, vol. 22 (2), p. 549. In other words, the importing country should not require healthy animals and innocuous animal products ! The statement represents inter alia clear instruction for spreading animal diseases through international trade towards worsening sanitary situation in importing countries. This is in absolute contrast not only to the “new” OIE name (including word “animal health” in illegal self-declaration) and to hypocritical callings for animal health and food safety but also to all global programmes requiring the health such as protection of animal and human populations, food safety, biosecurity, sustainable development, environment protection, poverty reduction, etc.. The tragedy is that the only inter-governmental independent organization in veterinary medicine changed its original health protection policy into organizing disease spreading causing irreparable consequences in importing countries, mainly developing ones.
need to remove technical obstacles to the free circulation of animals and
their products"; "It is not longer possible to apply the old
system under which animals and animal products had to come from specific
free zones, and were subjected to isolation, quarantine, inspection and
diagnostic testing before and after export.". In: V. Caporale
Prof.Dr Vincenzo Caporale was Secretary General, OIE Foot and Mouth Disease and Other Epizootics Commission and actually (2004) President, OIE Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases. He is Director of Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale d’Abruzzo e del Molise “G.Caporale”, Teramo, Italy which served from 1989 as FAO Collaborating Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Informatics (selected by the author of this paper), from 1996 as OIE Collaborating Center for Epidemiology and Organization of Veterinary Services in Developing Countries and from 2003 as OIE Collaborating Center for Veterinary Training, Epidemiology, Food Safety and Animal Welfare.
18.7 ”If, for a particular trade, we have
available risk reducing tools (tests, treatments, whatever) which will reduce
the risk by 10,000 or 100,000 times,
what does it matter what starting risk was ?” Letter of Dr Stuart
C. MacDiarmid (
Dr S. MacDiarmid as the member of
the OIE Working Group on Informatics and Epidemiology shares the responsibility
for abolishing previous global satisfactory animal health information system
containing also reports on disease imports (why to know disease situation in
exporting countries !?). He is the initiator and main propagator of risk
assessment mania according to the OIE Code nonsense methodology demanding
importing countries to “scientifically justify” the requirement for importing
healthy animals and innocuous animal products ! (More information on the same
website in “Abuse of disease import risk assessment method = facilitating
disease export”). In 2004 he was promoted to the post of the Secretary General
of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission ! His antisanitary opinions are reflected in
the OIE “new” information system (offering less regular data on all
internationally reportable diseases, needed by importing countries, as a decade
before) and in the OIE Code preferring major exporting countries at the expense
of animal and human health in importing countries. Perhaps his behaviour is
linked with the fact that
18.8 Handbook on Import Risk Analysis for Animals and Animal Products, OIE, 2004, page 20 is even threatening importing countries that “zero risk importation policy would require the total exclusion of all imports” (!?).”. The threat represents a top impudence of irresponsible authors (headed by Dr Noel Murray and Dr MacDiarmid from New Zealand) trying to defend for any cost their country relatively easy exports at the expense of health in importing countries abusing the OIE. However, biological aspects and protection of animal and human health in importing countries would require the opposite, i.e. “zero risk importation policy would require the total exclusion of all exports from those countries that are not able to ensure pathogen-free commodities”. The above quoted statement is unimaginable in any other trade commodities where the basic fair policy is to exclude from export those who are not able to guarantee required quality of the goods !
18.9 In the same Handbook on Import Risk Analysis for Animals and Animal
Products can be found on page 2 in the part entitled “
This statement confirms antisanitary policy even of the FAO/WHO Codex due to strong influence of major exporting countries abusing risk assessment methods when starting considering to admit disease pathogens in food for human beings. This antihuman approach must be categorically refused and world consumer family to be openly and truthfully informed on this crime against humanity.
18.10 The attack against animal and human health protection can be found in many other OIE publications. How far has reached WTO and OIE antisanitary concept is demonstrated by P.B. Jolly who writes “It is imperative to put an end to certain misconceptions, particularly the requirement of ‘zero risk’ ” and mentions the idea of “responsible consumers” i.e. to accept not innocuous food !? In: Veterinary Services: organization, quality assurance, evaluation. OIE Scientific and Technical Review, Volume 22 (2), August 2003, p. 384.
18.11 Veterinary institutions in the developing world: current status and future needs, OIE Review scientific and technique, Vol. 23 (1) April 2004: Dr A. Thiermann (USA), President, OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission in his paper entitled „Adapting veterinary infrastructure to meet the challenges of globalization and the requirements of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures“ (WTO/SPS) is stressing, without any proof, how the implementation of this document is and will be „maximizing the benefit of globalization.“. This is the same trick as WTO/SPS promising preamble "Desiring to improve the human health, animal health .. in all Members;" while in the whole document there is no one word of the health improvement (perhaps expecting that “thousand times repeated lie becomes the truth”). On the contrary, WTO/SPS was written only to facilitate the export of non-healthy animals and non-pathogen-free animal products, i.e. disease export, through converting very useful OIE Code recommendations for free decision-making into obligatory limits reducing importing country protection. Importing country cannot ask to import “healthy animals” or “pathogen-free animal products” (unknown terms in WTO/SPS or in OIE Code) without convincing scientific justification. What a nonsense ! The author doesn’t document any benefit for almost defenceless importing developing countries after exaggerated privatization imposed by some international financial organizations. Defending WTO/SPS is admitting spreading of animal diseases through „unrestricted trade“ (!?) which is contrary to original OIE constitution. The WTO/SPS has caused incalculable numbers of newly affected animals and persons by “legally” imported pathogens conducing to disease globalization = man-made irreparable global ecological disaster. The author is uncritically repeating the provisions of WTO/SPS without any practical recommendations beneficial to developing importing countries. Similarly, Dr G.K. Bruckner *) from South Africa in his paper entitled “Working towards compliance with international standards” is uncritically defending WTO/SPS and OIE Code admitting export of the pathogens. Both authors do not respect complicated features, variability and dynamics of the pathogens and diseases as biological phenomena. They obviously forgot that international standard means 100 % quality, i.e. in our case sanitary innocuousness, that fair free trade depends on the agreement between participating countries without any outside dictate or interference and that anti-epizootic activities and medical ethics are based on the principle “Primum non nocere !”
18.12 If we study carefully incredible antisanitary statements of the most influential OIE “officers” about the “no need” for information on animal disease occurrence then we can understand better the antisanitary OIE policy minimizing up to avoiding informative value of the OIE “information system” (better call it “non-information system”) for importing countries decision about veterinary conditions and to confuse/blind them as much as possible.
- “Historically, too much emphasis has been placed on how a country or zone can reach ‘disease free’ status and then base the safety of its trade on such freedom”. “The OIE is taking a new approach to setting standards and revising existing ones: the categorization of a country/zone status is first based on the assessment of the overall level of risk present in the country/zone or animal population, rather than on whether a disease has been reported or not.” (!?) (A. Thiermann, President, OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission in “Emerging diseases and implications for global trade.” Rev. Sci. Tech. Off. Int. Epiz., Vol. 23 (2), 2004).
This statement documents absolute underestimation (or the most probably deliberate arrangement to trickily “facilitate trade” following the OIE Code concept) of the importance of disease free status and of disease reporting for international trade ! In other words: “what does it matter what animal disease occurrence in exporting country is” ?
*) Dr G.K. Bruckner chaired the meeting of the OIE Working Group on Informatics and Epidemiology, Paris 1-4 Oct. 1996 which proposed and pushed through (as follow-up of the WTO/SPS to “facilitate trade”!?) the destruction of global international animal health reporting system on all internationally reportable animal diseases in spite of serving satisfactorily for decades; from that time the world has been getting much less regular information on disease occurrence than before. The same group deliberately abolished regular reporting on disease import and thus avoided the possibility to analyze objectively the consequences of the WTO/SPS and the OIE Code.
18.13 Of extraordinary importance is the WB and IMF mania of exaggerated privatization of veterinary services. The consequences are catastrophic not only for animal and human health populations in all affected countries but also for international trade in animals and animal products which have become out of necessary public service control. This fact facilitates export of communicable diseases with immense consequences in importing countries, mainly defenseless developing ones.
It reflects global crisis of veterinary medicine being not able to cope effectively with epizootics and trade. The same publication indicates “new” policy of OIE and FAO dedicating more attention to strengthening private services (supported also by WB, IMF, WVA, banks, pharmaceutical industry, etc.) instead to public veterinary institutions (depending only on government limited budget). Significantly reduced public institutions are not able to monitor and effectively control disease situation, supervise trade and private veterinary service, etc. The majority of the papers underestimate that this importing country defence weakness is favourable to the major exporting developed countries supported by WTO/SPS and OIE Code giving priority to “facilitated export” instead to protection of health in importing countries.
Examples see in chapters 1 and 14.
The OIE did not present to member country governments any risk analysis and warnings to avoid the dismantling of public veterinary institutions having the key irreplaceable role in any anti-epizootic activity (originally main task of the OIE) including trade control. The OIE did not protest when the World Bank was imposing unscrupulously on developing countries to minimize government support and budget for public veterinary institutions and anti-epizootic programmes.
More information on the same website: “Global crisis of public professional manpower”.
18.14 Foodborne disease: a focus for health
education - 2000. World Health Organization,
18.15 False concept used as the basis for the “new” antisanitary policy of the WTO and OIE declaring that the main obstacle to international trade in animals and animal products trade are supposedly preventive measures to protect health of animal and human populations of importing countries (!?). In reality, the main obstacles are diseased animals and their products in exporting countries contributing to the impossibility to guarantee the trade in healthy animals and innocuous animal products. The “facilitating trade” requires intensive disease control and eradication measures in exporting countries which obviously are for them too expensive and difficult in comparison with the artificial pseudo-professional reduction of protective measures imposed by the WTO and OIE upon importing countries, mainly almost defenseless developing ones. These two organizations are helping openly to major exporting countries discriminating unscrupulously the importing ones not respecting the protection of animal and human health.
18.16 Abuse of the principles of international trade liberalization: Instead to apply the liberalization = freedom for the decision on the trade conditions between exporting and importing countries, WTO and OIE have been imposing absurd regulations limiting artificially importing conditions to “facilitate export”, i.e. import of non-healthy animals and non-innocuous animal products at the expense of importing country animal and human health. WTO and OIE not respecting disease features and their epizootiological individuality (every case is different) converted trade liberalization into “regulated liberalization of disease export and globalization."!
18.17 Tragedy of veterinary medicine is the fact that many so called “veterinary epidemiologists” working at research and education institutions, even at high “scientific level”, of the major exporting countries are supporting antisanitary policy of WTO and OIE. One would expect that they as the scientists express their view on professional subjects based only on scientific analyses of the facts and not on personal impression or political/economical atmosphere or pressure artificially nourished by mass worldwide propaganda (including OIE publications, professional journals such as Preventive Veterinary Medicine, etc.). Historical catastrophe for veterinary medicine is that the above mentioned “scientists” are behaving not as consistent defenders of the health but as the servants of the business and propagate disease globalization through international trade without any professional scientific analyses and justification. The same is valid for many veterinary officers of the above mentioned international organizations (being afraid of fighting for the truth threatening relatively easy going their well paid “administrative work”) having not direct responsibility or even a feeling for animal health in the world.
As an deterrent example can be mentioned International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics (dominated by the theoreticians of major exporting country veterinarians) which, instead of defending consistently animal population health, supports antisanitary WTO and OIE policy discriminating importing countries. There is a tragedy that many veterinarians (including the most responsible and influential at the international level) have betrayed the Hippocratic Oath regulating medical ethics based mainly on the protection of health. Their names are known. History is a harsh judge. It will never forgive them. Unfortunately, the health and life of incalculable millions of unnecessarily affected animals and persons cannot be recovered. (More information in the letters to the ISVEE Chairmen on the same website and in Congress Proceedings of the Society).
18.18. Disease spreading through international trade is facilitated also due to insufficient preparation of veterinary manpower to be able to detect in time, diagnose and control communicable diseases at field level where is the decisive stratum for any affective animal health programme. The problem is, beside clinical aspects, firstly epizootiological. In many major exporting countries so called “veterinary epidemiology” which is typical biological subject was converted into “paper veterinary epidemiology” for administrative work confusing it with biostatistics and economics. Therefore, very often those who passed this kind of education or training are able to model theoretical scenario and calculate numbers but are not able to investigate animal population health and disease or identify and apply necessary practical effective measures. (More information in the chapter 16 and on the same website: Book Review – Dictionary of Veterinary Epidemiology).
18.19 Other very dangerous “philosophy” is the concept applying slavishly economic discount on animal and human population health and life as biological phenomena which are completely different in comparison with inanimate products. According with this absurd concept the results of disease control, elimination and eradication are discounted identically as the discounting of monetary value of inanimate subjects. The results of the achievement of disease eradication, reduced or zero morbidity or mortality are discounted using discount rate. By using a discount rate the value of future animal health programme effect is reduced to very small amounts after a number of years. E.g. at 10 % annual discount after 12 years the effect is worth less than a third of its value (after 10 years – 38.55, after 20 years – 14.86, after 30 years – 5.73, after 40 years – 2.21 and after 50 years – 0.85 of original effect value of 100). Which country government (elected usually for four year period) is willing to finance any eradication programme with the perspective of minimal up to zero effect ?
Example: The mentioned concept has been applied and taught by the
Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics Research Unit, Department of Agriculture,
18.20 In reality the result is the multiple of avoided previous losses which would happen in case of not eradicating the given disease or not applying losses reducing measures. Every year the number of saved humans and animals, i.e. their health and life from specific diseases, is increasing (and not decreasing !) having multiplying effect ! The perverted concept, not respecting the biology and the value of health and life, applying absurd economic criteria (domination of economists in some veterinary institutions) is “killing veterinary population medicine” and all the effort to improve global animal health and thus to facilitate international trade. The health cannot be treated as business goods !
19. DOMINATION OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS BY SOME EXPORTING COUNTRIES
19.1 Leading posts of global importance for trade in animal commodities and the nationality of the officers (up to 2005):
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), Director General -
Trade Organization (WTO), Director General –
Chairman, Committee on Sanitary and
Phytosanitary Measures -
c) Office International of Epizootics (OIE), Director General – France (from 1924 – world record)
President, Office International of
Vice-President, Office International of
Head, Department of International Trade
Head, Scientific and Technical
Head, Information and International
Trade Department –
President, Terrestrial Animal Health
Standards Commission – France,
President, Aquatic Animal Health
Standards Commission –
President, Scientific Commission for
Animal Diseases –
President, Foot and Mouth Disease and
Other Epizootics Commission –
Vice President, Terrestrial Animal Health
Standards Commission -
Chairman, Working Group of Animal
Health Information System –
Chief Animal Health Adviser - France
Secretary General, International Animal
Health Code Commission –
Secretary General, Standards Commission
Secretary General, Terrestrial Animal
Health Standards Commission –
Secretary General, Foot and Mouth
Disease and Other Epizootics Commission –
d) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Chief, Animal Health Service – France (from 1991)
Chief, Animal Health Service –
Head of Veterinary Services Group,
Animal Health Service -
Head of Infectious Diseases Group,
Animal Health Service –
Head of Parasitic Diseases Group,
Animal Health Service –
Head of Animal Production and Health
Section, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture
e) World Health Organization
Director, Division of
Emerging and other Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Control (EMC) -
Director, Division of
Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response (CSR) -
Director, Communicable Diseases
Veterinary Public Health Unit – France
f) World Veterinary Association
g) International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics
Chairman – France,
h) Preventive Veterinary Medicine *) - key international journal on veterinary epidemiology
Associate Editor –
*) Preventive Veterinary Medicine is a key international journal on
research and development in veterinary epidemiology, animal disease prevention
and control and animal health economics. Editor-in Chief is from
i) Editorial Board, Rev. sci. tech. Off. Int. Epiz: 10 members and 4 are from the above mentioned countries; Scientific Advisory Board – 23 members and 9 are from the above mentioned countries. OIE has 165 member countries.
19.2 The above mentioned countries “dominate” international organizations relevant for international trade in animals and animal products. Is this coincidence or discrimination of the others, i.e. importing ones ?
France: Dr Pascal Lamy, Director General, World Trade Organization
Dr Jean Blancou, Director General, OIE
Dr Thierry Chillaud, Head, Information and International Trade Department, OIE HQs
Dr Yves Leforban, Chief Animal Health Adviser, OIE HQs
Dr Yves Cheneau, Chief, Animal Health Service, Food and Agriculture Organization of the of the United Nations (FAO)
Dr Joseph Maurice Domenech, Chief, Animal Health Service, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Dr Francois-Xavier Meslin, Chief, Veterinary Public Health, World Health Organization
Prof.Dr B. Toma, Chairman, International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics
Dr David Heymann, Director, Division of Emerging and other Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Control (EMC); Director, Division of Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response (CSR), World Health organization
Dr H. Mussmann, Director, Animal Production and Health Division, FAO
Dr Alejandro B. Thiermann, President, OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission
Dr Beverly Schmitt, Vice-President, OIE Biological Standards Commission
Dr James E. Pearson, Head of Scientific and technical Department, OIE HQs, Vice-President, Standards Commission
Dr Robert Reichard, Head, Scientific and Technical Department, OIE HQs
Dr John R. Gorham, Chairman, OIE Working Group on Biotechnology
Dr L.J. King, Chairman, OIE Working Group of Animal Health Information System
Dr M.H. Woodford, Chairman, OIE Working Group on Wildlife Diseases
Dr Sharon R. Thompson, Member, OIE Working Group on Informatics and Epidemiology
Dr David E. Ward, Head of Veterinary Services Group, Animal Health Service, FAO HQs
Dr Juan Lubroth, Head of Infectious Diseases Group and Chief, Animal Health Service, FAO HQs
Dr Hollis N. Erb, Editor-in-Chief, Preventive Veterinary Medicine – key international journal on veterinary epidemiology
Dr Mike Moore, Director General, World Trade Organization
Dr S. MacDiarmid, Secretary General of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission, Member of the OIE Working Group on Informatics and Epidemiology, OIE Risk Assessment Expert
Dr Andrew MacKenzie, Member, OIE Working Group on Animal Production Food Safety
Dr Barry O’Neil,
President, OIE Regional Commission for
Dr Jim Edwards, President, World Veterinary Association
Dr Eva-Maria Bernoth, President, OIE Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission
Dr M.J.Nunn, Member of Editorial Board, Rev. sci. tech. Off. Int. Epiz.
Dr P. McCosker, Senior Officer, Infection Diseases Group, Animal Health Service, FAO
Dr Steve Edwards, Secretary General, OIE Standards Commission; President, OIE Biological Standards Commission
Dr Barry J. Hill, Vice-President, OIE Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission
Dr James D. Dargie, Head of Animal
Production and Health Section, Joint FAO/IAEA
Division of Nuclear Techniques in
Food and Agriculture,
Dr Martyn H. Jeggo, Head of Animal
Production and Health Section, Joint FAO/IAEA
Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture,
Dr Brian R. Evans,
Dr William G. Sterritt, President, OIE Foot-and-Mouth Disease and other Epizootics Commission
Dr Randall S. Morley, Member, OIE Working Group on Informatics and Epidemiology, OIE Risk Assessment Expert
Prof.Dr Romano Marabeli, President of the Office International of Epizootics (OIE)
Prof.Dr Vincenzo Caporale, Secretary General, OIE Foot and Mouth Disease and Other Epizootics Commission; President of the OIE Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases
Dr Ottorino Cosivi,
Associate Veterinary Expert, Department of Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and
Response, World Health Organization,
Prof.Dr Emilio Juan Gimeno, Chairman, OIE Working Group on Veterinary Drugs Registration
Dr Carlos Eddi, Head of Parasitic Diseases Group, Animal Health Service, FAO HQs
Prof.Dr E.P. Canningham, Director, Animal Production and Health Division, FAO
Dr Wolf-Arno Valder, Vice President, OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission
Note: Important influence on the international trade has World Bank.
From 1991 up today World Bank Group Presidents have been: Levis Preston, James
D. Wolfensohn and Paul Wolfowitz, all from
19.3 Everybody can understand that any necessary change in favour of importing countries’ animal health, i.e. to protect it through guaranteeing export of really healthy animals and pathogen-free animal products, cannot be expected under actual “constellation” of decisive global posts “occupied” by persons with continuing employment (not with fixed term one facilitating the rotation) posts from major exporting countries. Obviously, these countries are satisfied with actual situation admitting export also of non-healthy animal and non-pathogen-free animal products into importing countries. Globalization of communicable diseases is obviously out of their interest when they themselves are not affected by negative consequences of this trade. They have been avoiding the analyses of diseases’ spreading through international trade, not admitting true information of the consumers and farmers in the world on this situation and its consequences and not considering any warnings. The extreme influence and profits of these countries are too high. They obviously prefer to conserve actual status.
No other intergovernmental organization in the history has been controlled by the representatives
of the same country during the whole period of its existence such as the OIE by
French Directors General (from 1924 up today- 2010) ! Even the rotation of the
French DGs is without any fair democratic principles.
OIE DGs have been strongly influenced by a group of friends (other OIE
servants of international business) creating an impression of resemblance to
the “Mafia brotherhood”. E.g. The most important OIE Commission for trade code has
been headed from 2000 by Dr Alejandro Thierman (
19.4 The enormous concentration of major exporting countries’ officers in decisive posts of global importance for international trade in animal commodities is a new reality never known in the past. It is difficult to accept that this fact has been developed “naturally” applying fair competition where all member countries have had equal opportunity to get relevant posts. The nationality is not the basic problem. The main problem is the behaviour of above mentioned globally responsible officers, majority of them acting unscrupulously in favor of their own country interests only regardless of the protection of importing country human and animal health. They are the main responsible for irreparable globalization of animal diseases, including those transmissible to man, starting by WTO/SPS trade policy in 1995.
19.5 It is obvious that the OIE, inter-governmental organization outside of the United Nations, has been almost converted into an instrument of the major exporting countries to facilitate their export at the expense of importing country animal and human health situation. Original neutrality as basic principle of any inter-governmental organization and key OIE mission to protect consistently healthy animals avoiding diseases spreading through international trade have disappeared. OIE behaves as a filial of the WTO fulfilling its antisanitary dirty policy. The OIE and its staff and commissions share the major slice of moral and professional responsibility for irreparable global ecological disaster due to man-made spreading of communicable diseases of animals. The question could arise about the “raison d’etre” as far as OIE (hypocritically self-declared as World Organization for Animal Health) future existence is concerned.
20. OTHER FACTORS FACILITATING INTERNATIONAL TRADE AT THE EXPENSE OF ANIMAL AND HUMAN HEALTH IN IMPORTING COUNTRIES
20.1 Animal health services at national and international levels are controlling only very few selected communicable diseases, i.e. the overwhelming majority can be spread freely through national and international trade.
20.2 Newly emerging diseases, similarly as the other ones with insidious subclinical course, are out of any control and can freely spread through international trade.
20.3 Exported animals - asymptomatic carriers of etiological agents considered in importing countries as exotic (= non existing) species, types, subtypes or strains; similar importance have raw animal products infected or contaminated by the same agents.
20.4 Confirmation of "disease free status" of exporting animals and products omitting at all not notifiable and not controlled diseases inclusive transmissible to man.
20.5 Official declaring specific disease free status without active specific investigations (no specific investigation = no knowledge = certifying as "specific disease free"!?) and self-declaring of specific disease free zones without any international inspection and clearance.
20. Due to shortage of publics service veterinarians, export certificates are issued by not always reliable accredited veterinarians, particularly when working in the district where exporting producers provide them employment and income = not independent.
20.7 No one international organization involved in animal health (OIE, FAO, WHO, etc.) is collecting and analyzing all officially reported cases of disease introduction through international trade in the whole world, as far as their numbers, causes, influencing factors and consequences are concerned, as the basis for global and regional policy against this kind of disease spreading. T
20.8 No one international organization involved in animal health protested against WTO antisanitary policy expressed in WTO/SPS based on admitting and supporting disease spreading through international trade. On the contrary, all have accepted it without any critical official comments and supported it not considering at all negative health consequences in importing countries. All these organization were informed and warned (see “Warning letters” on my website), however without any health protective correcting action. All the answers were supporting WTO/SPS policy, i.e. the mentioned organizations bear heavy responsibility for catastrophic global animal health consequences.
20.9 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in spite of its global responsibility for animal health as an integral component of FAO food and agriculture policy, lost under very strange circumstances the main tool for collecting and analyzing data on global animal health situation, including disease spreading through international trade. FAO gave up regular global information system implemented within FAO/WHO/OIE Animal Health Yearbook Programme * after forty years of satisfactory service. In 1996 instead of merging information system of all three organizations to provide more and better information, the OIE abolished this programme and has been keeping only its own strongly underreported and very confusing information system to “facilitate trade” in non healthy animals and non-pathogen-free products. This was the end of FAO involvement in the global animal health information system, in spite of FAO constitution duty. OIE eliminated also the collection and dissemination of information on imported diseases’ cases. As the consequence, today no any international organization has sufficient data for objective global analysis of diseases’ spreading through international trade as the basis for identifying and applying corresponding preventive and recovery measures. These organizations have proved to be even not interested in searching for the truth of rapidly worsening animal health situation in the world through international trade. FAO Animal Health Service and FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission are not the exception. The result = the easiest and cheapest strategy of “doing nothing” for global disease improvement avoiding also the inevitable conflict with the WTO and OIE, the global initiators, organizers and propagators of animal disease globalization.
*) Note: That time the Director General of the OIE was Dr Jean Blancou (France) and the Chief, Animal Health Service, FAO was Dr Yves Cheneau (France), responsible officers who arranged the above mentioned “change” in global animal health information system.
20.10 Bad coordination among inter-governmental organizations involved in animal health. The influence of the FAO and WHO on OIE Animal Health Code for international trade is minimal or zero. The same is valid for the influence on the OIE global animal health information system. OIE not only abolished common global annual animal health information system of FAO, WHO and OIE but even in its World Animal Health yearbook didn’t mentioned at all cooperating organization FAO and WHO. The questionnaire was left as a common one, because the OIE membership hasn’t covered all countries in the world what can be achieved only through the membership of all three organizations. After my intervention **), OIE included in the World Animal Health yearbook, published late in 2001, on under cover page the emblems of FAO and WHO in the yearbook.
**) From my letter sent to Dr Samuel Jutzi, Director, Animal Production and Health Division, FAO dated 3 May 2001: “ I do not know under which conditions the information system of FAO/OIE/WHO Animal Health Yearbook was transferred to the OIE (after the SPS coming in force) and how far the FAO is now involved. Common annual "FAO/OIE/WHO Questionnaire" is being sent as before to all countries. Collected data are published in OIE World Animal Health yearbook and on OIE Internet pages. I do not understand why the OIE in these voluminous yearbooks doesn't mention not even one word that the programme is common, and why the names of the FAO and WHO have disappeared at all. The FAO was producing the FAO/WHO/OIE Animal Health Yearbook always as a common publication. It seems that the OIE, as SPS implementing agency for "facilitating trade", was given "free hand" to manipulate with the information system, which is so important for international trade. I don't believe that the FAO in the field of animal health has given up one of its basic function.”
20.11 There is even great incredible discrepancy between OIE policy supporting also spreading diseases in the world and FAO and WHO policy assisting member country governments in animal population health protecting and controlling/eradicating individual selected diseases (including those imported thanks to WTO and OIE policy). FAO is dealing mainly with national actual animal health problems, covering almost all its spectrum, without solving global ones (exception is global rinderpest eradication successful programme) important for the future long-term global development, i.e. first to avoid disease spreading through international trade. Veterinary Public Health Units, WHO was abolished, after loosing food hygiene components, by the end of 1980’s and now, some HQs veterinarians are dealing only with very few zoonoses (rabies, brucellosis, salmonellosis, etc.), mostly methodologically and not as global problems related with international trade disease spreading.
20.12 The spread of communicable diseases through exported meat is out of the interest of all three organizations, i.e. without adequate global information system and without any practical global action to avoid this kind of spreading. All these organization have in their programme hypocritically the protection of consumer health through food hygiene, however being implemented only formally producing different documents, organizing meeting and conferences, publishing thousand of papers, etc. but no any action for avoiding disease spreading through international trade in non-pathogen-free animal products. There is no any document of the mentioned organizations requiring complex investigation of animal products before their export to confirm their pathogen-free status.
20.13 There is general artificial tendency to avoid dealing with diseases’ spreading through international trade. First reason is the atmosphere created by WTO/SPS and OIE Code not favorable for admitting objective analysis or critical comments. Among other reasons belong the dedication of international activities to local and partial problems solution as well as to theoretical works without direct responsibility for the results. The dedication to secondary less important animal health problems instead to decisive problems’ practical solution has conduced to stop or significantly reduced preventive (= avoiding disease spread), control/eradication national and international programmes.
20.14 No one international research institute is analyzing real global situation and main causes of disease spreading to recommend feasible effective global measures for avoiding disease spread through international trade. Research institutes usually prefer the theory or partial problems’ solution without follow-up responsibility for the results and their impact on practical life. Some institutes working for developing countries even try to attract funds for their longterm “scientific” work at the expense of direct assistance to developing countries in solving their problems.
Example: International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi,
Kenya published in 2002 a booklet of 14O pages with very attractive title
“Investing in Animal Health Research to Alleviate Poverty” prepared by five authors headed by Dr B.D.Perry, ILRI involving also the expertise of almost 200
people from different countries. The compendium of a lot of information on
animal health related to the poverty in developing world presents for the
donors extreme number (about 300 types of research in more 30 diseases) of
research “priorities” (including many already known and proved methods, mountain
of paperwork, etc.) requiring enormous
amounts money (many hundreds of USD millions) without any guarantee of poverty
alleviation. In the whole document there is no one word on the ILRI costly research
impact on the poverty during last decades. The authors forget the basic,
feasible and cheapest principle - protection against disease introduction
through local, national and international trade in non-healthy animals and
non-pathogen-free products. They forget that the key factors are availability
of well prepared animal health staff, diagnostic facilities and funds. (ILRI
belonged among the organizations supporting the dismantlement of public
veterinary services in
of practical solution of the most important animal health problem - animal
infection spreading through trade, as the easiest way to demonstrate
“activities” was to establish new well staffed and financed units to produce
more unnecessary papers, to organize more unnecessary meetings, to create more
self-initiated unnecessary problems and more
bureaucratic work not respecting at all member countries’ reality and
needs. As a deterrent example can be mentioned the document entitled “The Global Framework for the
Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs)”-
approved by FAO and OIE on the
What for is this kind of absolutely formal document when the FAO and OIE e.g. have been doing nothing for the protection of neighbouring “transboundary” territory against African swine fever in Sardinia, i.e. occurring for decades “under their HQs windows”? More information in http://vaclavkouba.byl.cz/orgglobalization.htm.
The conscious and deliberate deviation of both organizations towards quite secondary problems has the only purpose: “doing nothing” (exception = paper production) against long distance spread, i.e. globalization of animal infections through trade (not to have conflict with the powerful WTO!). This false and very dangerous concept has been transferred to member countries what is representing the most important negative consequences for global animal population health!
Today in developing world there are many hundreds of millions of poor persons having no more than one dollar per day. The authors did not consider economic aspects and elaborated a programme with maximum cost and minimum benefit. The document required for the period of six years an incredible sum – 79 406 856 USD ! According to author’s experience the practical effect for developing countries of this kind of theoretical “paperwork” will be close to zero, i.e. wasting time and money !
Budget: FAO/OIE Secretariat – 8 new persons – 4 923 648 USD; FAO/OIE Regional Support Units – 71 new persons – 46 774 188 USD; Networks of Diagnostic Laboratories and Epidemiology Units – personnel + inputs – 11 735 712 USD; Research – 3 816 000 USD; Emergency Contingency Fund – 6 360 000 USD; Global Early Warning System + others – 4 134 577 USD; “National programmes on disease control – to be submitted to donors” ??? (no money !?); Publications – 318 000 USD. Average individual salaries for one expert – 141 624 USD (without dependance ?) annually, i.e. 849 744 USD during 6 years period. The impression is that the authors tried to ensure well paid jobs for them and their friends. The only effect have the new paper producing “armchair” officers thanks to good job without concrete responsibility for final practical results in member countries and having chance for “scientific” publications and meetings, travels, playing with computers (modeling without reliable data on disease occurrence and spreading), etc..
In 1990 for similar activities described in the above document the FAO Animal Health Service had 22 persons (15 animal health officers plus 7 supporting persons for Regular programme, backstopping of 218 field projects and for global Animal Health Yearbook information system) while in 2010 has even 55 persons! Only actual Infectious Disease Group has 29 persons including 6 “epidemiologists”; what they are doing when animal infections are spreading through international trade as never before and when global OIE animal health information system provides absolutely incomplete, strongly underreported, i.e. confusing, data on infection occurrence and spread?.
20.16 OIE instead of strengthening its global anti-epizootic programme avoiding disease spreading as required by its constitution, disperses its capacity, without having necessary infrastructure, staff and budget, to new activities, many of them are internal problems of member countries, such as food safety, animal welfare, drugs registration, veterinary legislation etc. The result is that FAO and WHO have reduced or eliminated these activities out of their programmes relying on OIE. FAO and WHO have been relying on OIE only in the field of anti-epizootic activities. The inter-relying conduces to programmes’ overlapping and lost of concrete responsibility. No one of the mentioned international organization is dedicating necessary attention to the main key animal health problem in the world – to avoid worsening of global animal health situation, mainly through international trade. They prefer to deal with partial (in time and space) easier-to-solve problems but not with decisive ones for future global development. The same is valid for the programmes of World Veterinary Association, veterinary faculties and research institutions as well as for the animal health publications and conferences.
21. Note about deliberately introduced a very dangerous disease into other country (international crime)
The author of this paper assisted Cuban veterinary authorities as international expert-epizootiologist in eradicating African swine fever in spring 1971. This extremely dangerous highly contagious killing disease appeared for the first time in the whole American continent. It was very difficult to identify the way of the introduction. The suspicion included a wide spectrum of the possibilities. It could not be eliminated any alternative. General impression, supported by international news media, was that the disease had been imported through international trade, in spite of extremely strict (as in no any other country) protective measures against animal disease introduction. That time the most important was to eradicate this disease as soon as possible and to avoid its further spreading. Thanks to effective extraordinary and very demanding measures the disease was eradicated during six weeks. Official report: 740 554 pigs dead and sanitary slaughtered, 45 000 persons and about one thousand vehicles mobilized.
After several years the truth was disclosed. In 1977
Similar bioterrorist act was repeated in 1981
introducing again this disease in
Prof. MVDr Václav K o u b a , DrSc.