Dr Rachid Bouguedour OIE Sub-Regional Representative for North Africa
The 11th meeting of the Joint Permanent Committee (JPC) of the Mediterranean Animal Health Network (REMESA) was held in Algiers (Algeria) on 24-25 November 2015 and inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture of Algeria, M. Ahmed Ferroukhi as well as by the OIE Deputy Director General, Dr Monique Eloit. The meeting was attended by the Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of REMESA member countries (Algeria, Egypt, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Portugal and Tunisia), representatives from International and Regional Organisations, e.g. Dr Jean-Luc Angot, President of the EuFMD and experts from International Reference Laboratories and other bodies recognised at the international level. This JPC was co-chaired by Greece and Algeria (which hold the co-presidency of REMESA for 2015).
The agenda of the meeting included FMD, Avian Influenza, as well as vector-borne diseases such as West Nile Fever, Bluetongue and Lumpy Skin Disease. A review of the RVF in the region and especially in Mauritania was also discussed. An update on activities of REMESA sub-networks (REPIVET, RELABSA, RECOMSA, RESEPSA) conducted in 2015 was also presented.
Working session. Picture (c) V. Brioudes (oie) 2015.
During the 2-days meeting it was reiterated the importance of establishing a regional vaccine bank for FMD in the REMESA region but, in parallel, it was stated that this bank would be beneficial only if there is a harmonized vaccination strategy among the countries. It was also considered crucial to have an effective livestock animal identification so to implement with efficacy the traceability of the animal movements. The OIE Sub-Regional Representation for North Africa announced for 2016 the organization of dedicated workshops in order to start addressing these expectations.
The co-presidency for 2016 will be held by Spain and Lebanon.