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The Threat of Pandemic Influenza: Are We Ready? - Workshop Summary
tion to all Member Countries to enable them to take appropriate actions to protect themselves.
Collection, analysis, and dissemination of veterinary information
Using its network of internationally recognized scientists, the OIE collects, analyzes, and publishes the latest scientific information on important animal diseases, including those transmissible to humans, especially regarding their prevention and control.
Strengthening of international coordination and cooperation in the control of animal diseases
The OIE provides technical expertise to Member Countries requesting assistance with animal disease control and eradication programs, particularly in developing countries. These activities are performed in coordination with other international organizations responsible for supporting and funding the eradication of infectious animal diseases and zoonoses.
Promotion of the safety of world trade in animals and animal products
The OIE develops standards for application by Member Countries to protect themselves against disease incursions as a result of trade in animals and animal products, while avoiding unjustified sanitary barriers. These standards are developed by experts from Member Countries and from the OIE’s network of more than 160 Collaborating Centers and Reference Laboratories.
In 1995 the standards developed by the OIE were formalized as international standards by the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organization (World Trade Organization, 1995). In order to harmonize SPS measures and remove unjustifiable sanitary or health restrictions on international trade, the Agreement states that governments should follow these international standards, guidelines, and recommendations. The goal of the Agreement is to minimize the risk of disease transmission and remove unjustifiable sanitary or health restrictions on international trade. The Agreement states that it is the sovereign right of a country to provide an appropriate level of animal and public health protection at its borders. However, this sovereign right is not to be misused for protectionist purposes: An importing country can only apply sanitary measures to imports if a similar level of protection is applied to all imports and internally by the importing country. Member Countries can introduce standards providing a higher level of protection than that provided by the OIE standards if there is a scientific justification, but these standards must be based on a science-based risk analysis.
The OIE recognizes highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) as an