SAINT Lucia has become the first OECS member-state to join the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
The OIE is an intergovernmental organization with a mandate to improve animal health and welfare and by extension human health worldwide. It is also the standards-setting agency for the sanitary safety of international trade in animals and animal products.
The 86th General Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates of the OIE was held during the week of 21st of May 2018 in Paris, France attended by nearly 1,000 participants, representing the delegates of 181 member countries, numerous scientists and observers from 62 international, intergovernmental, regional organizations.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Agriculture, after six days of consultation, 34 resolutions were adopted by the OIE delegates, including new and amended international standards aimed at protecting and improving world animal health and welfare.
On Friday May 25th, the World Assembly welcomed Saint Lucia as the 182nd Member Country to join the OIE, making it the first OECS country to be accepted.
According to the ministry’s statement, “Saint Lucia is highly rated worldwide as is it relates to its excellence Animal Health Status. Thus, as member of the OIE, this status can now be officially recognized and help improve market access in the trade of animal and animal products, including fish and other seafoods.”
The statement noted, “It should also be noted that approximately 70% of all human diseases are of animal origin and many can be introduced by the importation of animals and animal products.”
According to the ministry, “The OIE membership will serve to build capacity and strengthen the Veterinary Services to better carry out its mandate to improve and safeguard animal and human health.”
The statement also noted that Dr.Auria King-Cenac, Chief Veterinary Officer and Saint Lucia’s delegate at the just-concluded OIE Assembly, “expressed gratitude on behalf of the government and people for the accession of our nation onto the OIE.”