FRANCE – The International Office of Epizootics (OIE), the intergovernmental organization responsible for improving animal health worldwide, is celebrating 100 years of existence since its establishment in Paris in May 1921.

Following the outbreak of rinderpest that devastated post-war Europe in 1920, Emmanuel Leclainche, a multilingual and passionate professor about international veterinary activity, urged the coordination of an international conference to study epizootics and their prevention.

He became the organization’s first Director General and occupied the seat for 22 years, leaving the position to his successor Gaston Ramon in 1946.

In May 2003 the Office became the World Organization for Animal Health but kept its historical acronym OIE.

The world was officially declared free from rinderpest during the 79th OIE General Session in 2011 and is one of the most important achievements in the history of veterinary medicine.

Despite its eradication, the OIE strives to keep the memory of rinderpest alive to ensure everyone involved in animal health is fully aware of its challenges and of the role that they still have to play in the post-eradication era.

The OIE has cooperated with other international and regional organizations for the implementation of vaccination programmes, surveillance, and testing.

Due to the economic impacts and severe devastation caused by animal diseases and the need to manage animal production essential for food security, fighting epizootics has always been important for veterinarians.

Azerbaijan bird flu

According to Trend, Azerbaijan Food Safety Agency has imposed restrictions on the import of poultry meat from a number of countries following an outbreak of a highly pathogenic bird flu.

The agency is taking appropriate measures in accordance with the epizootic situation in the world, on the basis of information received from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), in order to protect animals from infectious diseases that can move from other countries to the territory of Azerbaijan.

The OIE announced that the bird flu was recorded in the administrative-territorial units of Albania (Durres, Tirana, Kukes), Iraq (Basra), the Kingdom of Lesotho, the UK (North Yorkshire, Lisburn, Castlerie), as well as in the province of KwaZulu – Natal (South Africa).

In order to reinforce control, an appeal has been sent to the State Customs Committee (SCC) of Azerbaijan to take appropriate measures in relation to vehicles arriving or passing in transit from South Africa, Albania, Iraq, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the UK.