The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) have pledged to step up their existing collaboration to control animal disease, ensure the safety of food from animal origin and promote safe trade. 

The two organisations said they would reinforce their partnership in priority areas that include joint response to animal health crises and programmes to prevent and control foot-and-mouth disease, peste des petits ruminants, African swine fever, rabies, zoonotic influenza and antimicrobial resistance.

In cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), FAO and OIE plan to focus on monitoring the responsible use of antimicrobial and pharmaceutical products. They will also work to strengthen national veterinary systems.

Speaking at the World Assembly of Delegates to the OIE in Paris, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said animal health was of “paramount importance” in the work of the organisation to eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.

“We are committed to tackling high-impact animal diseases together with OIE, WHO and regional and national partners,” Graziano da Silva said.

During his address to the OIE assembly, Graziano da Silva underlined that climate change represented a growing threat for the future of animal health and its repercussions for global food security.