The World Organisation for Animal Health and World Small Animal Veterinary Association have signed a memorandum of agreement to promote increased collaboration between the two organisations in the area of One Health.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) have signed a memorandum of agreement to promote increased collaboration between the two organisations in the area of One Health – a movement which aims to encourage human health and veterinary professionals to work together to eradicate disease.
Under the terms of the agreement, the WSAVA – an “association of associations” representing more than 80,000 small animal vets all over the world – has been granted full observer status at the annual OIE General Assembly.
The OIE is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health and welfare worldwide and is responsible for the global surveillance of animal diseases, including zoonoses.
The organisations will collaborate on a range of activities including the development of global standards and guidelines to improve companion animal health and the continuing education of companion animal veterinarians. They will also implement practical measures including developing communication campaigns to increase awareness of infectious disease surveillance and reporting programmes.
WSAVA president Jolle Kirpensteijn said: “The agreement with the OIE confirms the WSAVA and its One Health Committee as the appointed voice for companion animals and their veterinarians worldwide.
“Companion animal veterinarians play a significant role in the One Health concept because of their strategic position in reporting the emergence or re-emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases at the companion animal-human interface. It is therefore imperative that adequate surveillance systems are in place.
“We also see major benefits for human health from comparative research into spontaneously arising disorders of companion animals and believe there is a wider societal aspect because of the human-companion animal bond.
Dr Bernard Vallat, director general of the OIE, added: “The One Health concept recognises that human and animal health are inextricably linked.
“As we work to promote, improve and defend the health and well being of all species and to detect and report diseases at the human-animal interface, greater collaboration with all specialties of the veterinary profession is essential. The WSAVA represents an important segment of practicing veterinarians who, until now, have not been closely linked with the OIE.”
He concluded: “We are delighted to sign this agreement and look forward to the insight, experience and expertise the WSAVA team will bring to our work on behalf of companion animals.”