Veterinary institutions in the developing world: current status and future needs,
OIE Review scientific and technique, Vol. 23 (1) April 2004, ISSN 0253-1933, ISBN 92-9044-605-6
compendium on veterinary institutions in the developing world has 401 pages and
contains 28 papers edited by Dr C. de Haan, Senior
Adviser, Agriculture and Rural Development Department, World Bank in
The authors are persons having not direct responsibility for national animal population health and the majority are from developed countries (19 from 28). Several authors commenting critically the situation in developing countries due to exaggerated privatization are the same who share the responsibility for the previous policy dismantling fragile public veterinary institutions’ structure developed in the past. The leading international organization responsible for the extreme reduction of public veterinary institutions and their activities in developing world was World Bank applying privatization regardless of the health protection needs. Its officers are now giving the orientation to this Office International des Epizooties (OIE) publication. It reflects actual OIE policy of “serving” not only to World Trade Organization (WTO) but also to World Bank (WB).
documents continuing domination of experts from OIE-privileged countries. As an
example the paper „The emerging animal health delivery system in the People’s
Particular attention merits the bloc of international standards. 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 their products, i.e. disease export, through converting very useful OIE Code recommendations for free decision-making into obligatory limits reducing country protection. Importing country cannot ask to import “healthy animals” or “pathogen-free animal products” (unknown terms in WTO/SPS) 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 and could be understood as international crime. 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 in his paper entitled “Working towards compliance with international standards” is uncritically defending WTO/SPS and OIE Code admitting export of pathogens. Both authors do not respect complicated features, variability and dynamics of the pathogens and diseases as biological phenomena.. They obviously forgot that an 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 !”.
Only one paper refers to basic international document „Guidelines for strengthening animal health services in developing countries“, FAO, 1991 published in English, French and Spanish and elaborated by the best experienced Chief Veterinary Officers of all continents. This „oversight“ 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 in developing countries are not able to monitor and effectively control disease situation, supervise trade and private veterinary service as well as to resist disease import. The majority of the papers underestimate that this 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. 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.
Dr T.W. Shillhorn van Veen (Netherlands), World Bank, Washington in his paper on veterinary services included “Eastern Europe” = Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia among developing countries which is clear insult to the respective states. The paper contains critics without any proof and forgetting that the main criteria of veterinary services are their practical results. However, the author avoided the comparison between the results in the mentioned countries and in so-called “developed” ones. The paper is widely operating with so-called “veterinary livestock units” (VLU) without any clear definition what they mean.
Among the papers
are two from
Common characteristic of many contributions, similarly as in all recent OIE publications, is almost a “duty” to refer to WTO/SPS, commend and propagate it not permitting any doubts, opposing opinion or even critics. The abbreviation “OIE” in all the texts and even in all the references is always defined non exactly (i.e. non scientifically in contrast to the Review name) as “World Organization for Animal Health” in spite of the “new” policy admitting and even supporting disease spreading through international trade and thus worsening global animal health. I do not know any scientific publication where the Editor distorts deliberately official name of inter-governmental organization into incorrect artificial term not respecting even original text sent by the authors. The self-declared (not officially cleared by the member country governments) new name cannot conceal the fact that OIE is not more consistent anti-epizootic defender of the health and serves only as an unfair confusion of the readers.
The Summary and Conclusions are also elaborated by Dr
C. de Haan (Word Bank officer during last three
decades) who shares the responsibility for
dismantling public veterinary services
in developing world as well as in “
The appreciation merit individual country case studies. The majority of the contributions dealing with para-professionals and auxiliaries contain many useful information on their involvement in veterinary practice in developing countries. The comparison and objective evaluation of practical results of different veterinary institution structures, their advantages and disadvantages, is missing. There are no any feasible recommendations based on proved experience how to develop veterinary institutions in developing countries in order to improve animal health, disease control and eradication, protection of human health, protection of country territory against the introduction of diseases through international trade, etc. However, the publication is very useful as an information source reflecting OIE departure from original consistent anti-epizootic policy and very critical reality of public veterinary institutions in developing world.
Prof. MVDr Václav K o u b a, DrSc.
The international responsibility for absurd privatization of veterinary services, i.e. dismantling functioning government services during the 1990s
rests with the relevant intergovernmental organizations such as the OIE and the FAO. The irony is that the same organizations and their officers call today for strengthening government services in order to able to cope with actual problems of animal population health/diseases‘ control and animal trade.
Example: During XXV World Veterinary Congress in
Yokohama, Japan, 3-9 November 1995 the representatives of the OIE (J. Blancou,
DG OIE, A. Panin, member of OIE Code Commission for international trade and N.
Belev, adviser to DG OIE and President, OIE Regional Commission for Europe)
presented a paper entitles „Animal Health
Problems in the Countries of Eastern Europe during the transition to a market
economy and the creation of private sector. Possible solutions.“ These
„specialists„ previously supported the destruction of government services in
these countries without any replacement to facilitate trade at the detriment of
importing countries. Without any scientific and practical analyses they accepted
this antisanitary conversion conducing to stop disease eradication programmes,
the minimize preventive veterinary medicine and letting pathogens‘ spreading
through international trade, i.e. to worsen animal health situation. The
consequences are catastrophic. The above mentioned organization and its „specialists“
didn’t care about animal diseases spreading through trade. In particular Dr N.
Belev, as two decades being President, OIE Commission for Europe is the main
co-responsible for public veterinary services destruction in the Europe (the
most drastic privatization was carried
out in his home country being commended by World Bank and international
traders) and for letting the diseases to spread within the Europe. He has done
nothing for eradication of African swine fever in