ACTA VET. BRNO 2004, 73: 299-301
Veterinary Services: organization, quality assurance, evaluation. OIE Scientific and Technical Review, Volume 22 (2), August 2003, 309 pages. ISBN 92-9044-596-3 and ISSN 0253-1933
In response to increasing requirements for safe international trade, veterinary services must show that their structure, organization, resources, and scientific and technical capabilities are in line with the need of their own countries, and those of countries or groups of countries with which they trade. This was the reason for publishing this very useful compendium of 31 papers dedicated to veterinary services in different regions of the world, written mostly by Chief Veterinary Officers and edited by E. Correa Melo and F. Gester. The papers are grouped in five blocks: challenges, examples of different regions, support networks for veterinary services, quality assurance and evaluation.
The majority of the papers are describing veterinary services organizational structure, responsibilities, activities and administration. Particular attention is given to the protection of animal and human health, eradication of major diseases, food hygiene, international trade, environment protection, animal welfare, information systems, legislation, service delivery systems, etc. Unfortunately, the publication is lacking of information on practical results achieved, veterinary services staff quality (education level, postgraduate training, accreditation conditions, etc.) and numbers (government and private veterinarians, animal health assistants, etc.), workload (related to animal population numbers, export and import), material assurance, budget, etc.. Comparative study to assess the effectiveness of different organizational forms of public veterinary services is missing as well.
In the block “Challenges” R. Marabelli, Italian Chief Veterinary Officer and actual President of the OIE is listing generally known duties and main activities of public veterinary service without mentioning anything about the unique experience of Italian service exceptionally placed under ministry of health. He did not explain why this service has not eradicated African swine fever, the most dangerous pig disease, during last 25 years (meanwhile pork export increased 4O times).
article written by S.C. MacDiarmid y H.J. Pharo from
WTO-SPS and OIE policy
has been influencing many authors. For example P.B. Jolly from
In the block “Organization – examples from different regions of the OIE” there are quite detailed information on actual and future veterinary services organization and programme, mostly without any critical analysis, from Canada, France, Belize, Malaysia, Japan, Lithuania, Africa and Latin America. Only the paper describing federal system of veterinary services in Switzerland includes critical evaluation of its veterinary service and self-critical paper from the Republic of Korea admits that “current veterinary manpower is inadequate to cope” with its tasks.
“Support networks for Veterinary Services” is introduced by interesting paper
of E. Correa Melo and V. Saraiva on how to promote joint participation of the
public and private sector in the organization of animal health programmes.
Other contributions are from
Particular attention merits the statement (page 549) in the paper “The obligations of member Countries of the OIE (World organization for animal health) in the organization of Veterinary Services” written by B.Vallat (Director General, OIE) and D.W.Wilson. They refer to the OIE Code recommending “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 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”) 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.
In the block
“Quality assurance: implementation and practical experience” there are papers
In the block
“Evaluation” there are contributions from
The structure of the compendium does not respect country representativeness indicating too strong disproportional influence of the major exporting countries on the OIE policy, including its publications. As usually information and experience of Central European countries are missing what reflects their discrimination and probably also the fear of the comparison with the others as far as practical results are concerned. The compendium uncritically supports the concept of “facilitate trade” at the expense of animal health in importing countries. The papers of other opinion are not included. Almost all contributions refer to or quote the WTO “Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures” (WTO-SPS) admitting and supporting the propagation of animal disease through international trade. In the whole compendium there is no one word of trade in healthy animals or sanitary innocuous products in spite of calling for the protection of animal and human health and for food safety. As editorial “novelty” the abbreviation of the “OIE” is always translated as “World Organization for Animal Health” (self-declaration without any official clearance by member country governments) and not as official name “International Office of Epizootics”.
A CD-ROM containing text of several useful documents related to veterinary service organization is attached as Annex.
Prof.MVDr Václav K o u b a , DrSc.
“You should know that as per Resolution XVI of the International Committee, which was passed during the 71st General Session (May 2003), the OIE was authorised ‘… to use, in all circumstances, alongside the statutory name of the OIE, the common name World Organization for Animal Health’. The rationale behind this decision is that ’.. the scope of the OIE’s missions has evolved beyond the prevention and control of epizootic diseases to include all animal health issues and their public health implications and management needing to be addressed on a regional or global scale. ’
This letter de facto unintentionally confirms my above mentioned comment “As editorial “novelty” the abbreviation of the “OIE” is always translated as “World Organization for Animal Health” (self-declaration without any official clearance by member country governments) and not as official name “International Office of Epizootics”.
The OIE has been using the name “World Organization for Animal Health” in its official documents from 1994, i.e. the year of the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and not from 2003.
In any international official and scientific documents the abbreviation of any name must be translated exactly which is valid also for any inter-governmental organizations such as the OIE.
When preparing my paper “Quantitative analysis of global
veterinary human resources” (published in Rev. sci. tech. int. Epiz., 22, 2004)
I protested against editor’s changing correct
translation of the “OIE” in the text as well as in literature references. The reaction was sent on
In 2003 Dr J. Holejsovsky, Czech Chief Veterinary Officer and Delegate to the OIE confirmed me that the change had not been officially cleared by the governments ! He indicated that the reason had been probably based on the initiatives of some delegates commenting that the word “Office” is not sufficiently authoritative and respected.
Official government ratification of changing original inter-government organization name and scope cannot be replaced by lower decision level such as the OIE International Committee of Chief Veterinary Officers. Any change of this type must be done only on the same level as when the Organization was established, i.e. governments and parliaments.
Comparison of original and changed OIE mission significantly debilitating (or “dropping” ?) the original anti-epizootic activities see on author’s website in “Factors facilitating animal disease spreading through international trade”, paragraphs 13.1-13.3. International legal culture is obviously not strong point of the OIE, or better not respected at all !
A copy of the DG OIE lying letter obtained also Dr
Nikola Belev (Bulgaria CVO), OIE Coordinator for Central and