Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative Paris, February 2004

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1 Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative Paris, February 2004 Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative Paris, February 2004 PROCEEDINGS Published by and the European Commission Organisation mondiale de la santé animale World Organisation for Animal Health Organización Mundial de Sanidad Animal

2 Photographs on cover reproduced with permission of the World Organisation for Animal Health, OIE

3 Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative Paris, February 2004 PROCEEDINGS

4 The views expressed in this document are solely the responsibility of the authors and may not, under any circumstances, be regarded as stating an official position either of the Commission of the European Communities or of the Office international des épizooties. Full information about the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and its activities can be reached at or by addressing requests to General information is also available by calling directly at (33-1) Europe Direct is a service to help you find answers to your questions about the European Union Freephone number: A great deal of additional information on the European Union is available on the Internet. It can be accessed through the Europa server (http://europa.eu.int). Cataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2004 ISBN European Communities, 2004 Office international des épizooties, 2004 Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged. Printed in Italy PRINTED ON WHITE CHLORINE-FREE PAPER

5 The contribution of the Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection of the European Commission in the organisation of the Global conference on animal welfare is gratefully acknowledged. The realisation of the Global conference on animal welfare has also been made possible thanks to the contribution of the governments of the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.

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7 Contents Foreword Committee members VII IX Setting the scene B. Vallat The OIE Historical and scientific background and prospects for the future A. B. Thiermann The OIE process, procedures and international relations A. C. D. Bayvel The OIE animal welfare strategic initiative Progress, priorities and prognosis Global animal welfare challenges: Some perspectives J. D. Edwards The role of the veterinarian in animal welfare A global perspective L. R. Estol Animal welfare in the veterinary curriculum El bienestar de los animales, un currículum para su enseñanza en las facultades de veterinaria D. B. Wilkins The expectations of the international animal welfare movement E. Stamper Animal transportation An industry perspective K. H. Brown A marketplace perspective R. Quintili Consumer concerns for animal welfare: from psychosis to awareness S. A. Rahman Animal welfare: a developing country perspective Applying science to animal welfare D. Fraser Applying science to animal welfare standards P. Le Neindre Space, environmental design and behaviour: Effect of space and environment on animal welfare J. A. Mench Management, handling and transport of farm animals I. J. H. Duncan Pain, fear and distress Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative V

8 Contents B. Algers Injury and disease A. B. Lawrence Food, water and malnutrition: perspectives on nutrient requirements for health and welfare in farm animals Areas of practical application H. Wyss Animal welfare: between profit and protection T. Håstein Animal welfare issues relating to aquaculture The way forward A. B. M. Raj Cultural, religious and ethical issues associated with animal welfare D. J. Mellor The application of legislation, scientific guidelines and codified standards to advancing animal welfare Closing remarks A. C. D. Bayvel The OIE animal welfare strategic initiative The way forward B. Vallat Formal closure Appendices Appendix I Conference programme Appendix II List of participants Appendix III Reports of discussion groups: Land transport Sea transport Killing for disease control purposes Slaughter of animals for human consumption Animal welfare research Animal welfare in the veterinary curriculum Communication challenges in animal welfare Issues concerning animal welfare and international trade, companion animals, wildlife Appendix IV The OIE in summary VI Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative

9 Foreword It was an honour and a privilege for the Office international des épizooties (OIE) to welcome to this global conference on animal welfare so many distinguished government officials, the chief veterinary officers of numerous OIE member countries and their delegations, eminent scientists, and private sector professionals working in the production, processing and distribution of animal products, as well as numerous animal welfare activists and members of the public keen on the worldwide promotion of new rules on the relationship between humans and animals. The OIE, as the World Organisation for Animal Health, is proud to have received a unanimous mandate from its 166 member countries to become the leading international organisation in the field of animal welfare. How has this situation come about? The OIE was created in 1924, thus before the United Nations Organisation, by 28 countries. These countries were seeking international cooperation to try to bring an end to the outbreaks of serious diseases that were ravaging their livestock. They wanted a mutual undertaking whereby infected countries would inform the others in the event of an animal health emergency so that they could take protective action. They also wanted information on the most effective methods to combat these devastating animal diseases. Today, these objectives of providing sanitary and scientific information in the veterinary field still feature among our organisation s priority missions, in terms of diseases affecting animals alone and also those transmissible to humans. In 1994, the agreements that led to the creation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) made specific provisions for the management of sanitary and phytosanitary problems (SPS agreement) relating to the risks posed by commodities in international trade. At that time, a consensus was reached that member countries own legislation to protect against the introduction of pathogens should be science-based and avoid imposing unjustified sanitary barriers as a hidden form of trade protection. The OIE s standards, guidelines and recommendations were then designated as the international reference in the field of animal diseases and zoonoses. The OIE was chosen notably due to the fact that its standards are exclusively science-based. As the implementation of these standards can pose a problem for developing countries, the OIE acts out of solidarity with them by supporting the efforts they have made in animal disease surveillance and control aimed at reducing poverty, improving food safety and gaining access to international markets, from which the majority of them are currently excluded, notably for sanitary reasons. Developed countries continue to suffer occasional animal disease outbreaks, most commonly caused by the accidental introduction of pathogens, a phenomenon widely linked to the globalisation of trade. Nevertheless, the majority of the most serious animal diseases spread primarily in developing countries. Diseases are a major and persistent factor in animal suffering and combating them worldwide must be a priority for all those seeking to improve animal welfare. It was primarily with this in mind that our member countries sought to extend the OIE s mandate to include animal welfare, even though this field is not specifically covered by the WTO agreements. Among the OIE s other mandates are, for example, wildlife diseases and their links with diseases in other animals and with human diseases. Some emerging zoonoses are indeed linked to wild animals and the challenge facing us in this field is to fully understand these phenomena so as to combat them more effectively and preserve wildlife. Our mandates also include food safety, the OIE working closely with the Codex Alimentarius Commission to develop standards relating to the prevention of hazards during the production Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative VII

10 and transport of food animals, so as to avoid risks to consumers. This is also a new field for the OIE and in due course we shall also have to examine whether inappropriate production or transport conditions can subsequently affect the safety of food products of animal origin. Other activities carried out by the OIE may also have a direct or indirect effect on animal welfare. The OIE codes, which contain standards on animal health and conditions governing international trade in animals and animal products, also include model sanitary certificates intended to accompany animals or animal products. These certificates are issued by the official veterinary services of exporting countries and provide official certification that the requirements of importing countries have been met. They are essential in order to avoid introducing diseases into importing countries. The OIE codes also specify what methods should be used in order to enable a member country to be considered free from a given animal disease. For some diseases, stamping out applied to the infected sites is sometimes unavoidable, but the OIE makes every effort to provide for the use of vaccination for disease prevention purposes, in order to limit, wherever possible, the application of stamping out. When there is no alternative to stamping out, the OIE recommends using methods designed to reduce animal suffering as far as possible. This topic was discussed in detail during the conference, as well as methods of slaughtering animals for human consumption. In the latter field, the OIE has in recent months begun organising the scientific and cultural discussions that will be needed so as to take legitimate religious and cultural concerns into account. On a more general note, the OIE s aims in the field of animal welfare consist first and foremost of proposing guidelines for adoption by our International Committee. Member countries wishing to engage in trade in animals or animal products will then be able to use these guidelines on a bilateral basis. They can also be used as a national, regional or international foundation for negotiations within the private sector, for example when drawing up specifications between distributors or restaurant chains and producers in order to satisfy consumer requirements. Ultimately, these guidelines will also lead to a gradual harmonisation of existing national and regional legislation and in particular will lend support to the many countries that do not yet have legislation in this field, enabling them to use the OIE s recommendations as the foundation for their future legislation. Over and above its role in providing technical recommendations, the OIE must also conduct a new mission that has not yet been undertaken at worldwide level, namely to convince all the decision-makers in its member countries of the need to take into account the human animal relationship in favour of a greater respect for animals. This also implies an internal evolution within our organisation. While maintaining our functions of excellence and rigour in the field of technical recommendations and expertise, we must become more open than in the past to the world of education and training, the private sector, consumers and the public at large. The organisation of this global conference on animal welfare has been a momentous development in this respect. Bernard Vallat Director-General of the OIE VIII Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative

11 Committee members Steering Committee Dr David Bayvel Prof. Elisabetta Canali Prof. David Fraser Dr Sira Abdul Rahman Dr Herbert Schneider Ms Emma Stamper Mr David Wilkins Organising Committee Dr Bernard Vallat Dr David Wilson Dr Jean-Luc Angot Dr Andrea Gavinelli Dr Alex Thiermann Mrs Maria Zampaglione Liaison Committee Dr Antonio Petrini Mr Rex Horgan Mr Stéphane Berlaud Mrs Mariugenis Oudin Mr Jean-Pierre Croiziers Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative IX

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13 Setting the scene

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15 Setting the scene Résumé L OIE Bases historiques et scientifiques et perspectives d avenir B. Vallat Directeur général de l Office international des épizooties, 12, rue de Prony, F Paris; Mots clés: OIE, Organisation mondiale de la santé animale, bien-être animal, santé animale, l Organisation mondiale du commerce L Office international des épizooties (OIE) a été créé en 1924 par 28 pays membres. Son existence est donc antérieure à la création des Nations unies, dont il ne fait pas partie. Bien que son acronyme soit conservé pour des raisons historiques, l OIE s appelle maintenant Organisation mondiale de la santé animale, 166 pays ayant à ce jour adhéré à l Organisation. L OIE s est initialement consacré à la transparence de la situation zoosanitaire mondiale, établie sur la base de méthodes de diagnostic et de connaissances scientifiques incontestables. Cette mission, toujours prioritaire, donne des outils à tous les pays membres pour se protéger de l introduction de pathogènes sur leur territoire, qu ils menacent seulement les animaux ou bien l homme et les animaux en même temps (zoonoses). Cette responsabilité a évolué à la suite de la reconnaissance de l OIE par l Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC) en tant qu organisation de référence pour garantir la sécurité sanitaire du commerce mondial des animaux et de leurs produits (viande, lait, cuirs et peaux, œufs ) tout en évitant des barrières sanitaires injustifiées. Dans ce domaine, l OIE s associe aux efforts qui sont faits pour aider les pays en développement à accéder au marché international tout en exerçant un devoir de solidarité à leur égard. Ce devoir de solidarité s applique à la lutte contre les maladies prioritaires et à leur éradication. Ces maladies sont un puissant facteur de souffrance animale, d augmentation de la pauvreté et de risques de maladies d origine alimentaire. L OIE dispose d un réseau de plus de 150 laboratoires de référence dans le monde pour procurer aux pays membres les meilleures méthodes pour éliminer les maladies. L OIE a été mandaté plus récemment pour prendre en compte les maladies des animaux sauvages, mais aussi les problèmes de sécurité sanitaire des aliments. Dans ce domaine c est le Codex Alimentarius qui est reconnu en priorité par l OMC, mais l OIE élabore les normes concernant tous les risques à prévenir pendant la phase d élevage et de transport des animaux destinés à être consommés. Il est apparu enfin à nos pays membres que le lien entre la santé des animaux et leur bien-être était si évident que l OIE devait devenir aussi la référence internationale en matière de protection des animaux. De plus, d autres activités courantes de l OIE, comme les questions sanitaires relatives au commerce international des animaux vivants, la définition des normes en matière d éradication des épizooties (dépopulation des élevages infectés, protection des autres animaux par la vaccination) ou de modalités de certification des viandes et produits après abattage des animaux, peuvent avoir un lien important avec le bien-être animal. Nous sommes donc maintenant mandatés par nos pays membres pour préparer un socle de guide de bonne conduite international en faveur des animaux en traitant en priorité les sujets ayant un lien avec les activités évoquées ci-dessus. Nous sommes ainsi amenés à pénétrer aujourd hui encore plus au cœur de la relation homme-animal. L OIE, autrefois ouverte à un cercle d experts et de spécialistes, se rapproche maintenant des consommateurs et des citoyens. Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative 3

16 Setting the scene Resumen La OIE: Historia, ciencia y perspectivas del futuro B. Vallat Director General de la Oficina Internacional de Epizootias, 12, rue de Prony, F Paris; Palabras clave: OIE, Organización Mundial de Sanidad Animal, bienestar animal, sanidad animal, Organización Mundial del Comercio La Oficina Internacional de Epizootias (OIE) fue creada en 1924 por veintiocho países miembros. Su existencia es pues anterior a la creación de las Naciones Unidas y no forma parte de esta institución. Aunque se conserve el acrónimo por motivos históricos, la OIE se denomina actualmente Organización Mundial de Sanidad Animal. A fecha de hoy, 166 países se han afiliado a la Organización. La OIE se dedicó en un inicio a la transparencia de la situación zoosanitaria mundial, establecida sobre la base de métodos de diagnóstico y de conocimientos científicos irrefutables. Esta misión, que sigue siendo prioritaria, facilita a todos los países miembros las herramientas de protección contra la introducción de agentes patógenos en su territorio, tanto si constituyen una amenaza sólo para los animales como para el hombre y los animales al mismo tiempo (zoonosis). Esta responsabilidad ha evolucionado tras el reconocimiento de la OIE por la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC) en tanto que organización de referencia para garantizar la seguridad sanitaria del comercio mundial de animales y de los productos que de ellos deriven (carnes, leche, cueros y pieles, huevos, etc.) y a la vez para evitar obstáculos sanitarios injustificados. En este ámbito, la OIE se asocia a los esfuerzos desplegados para ayudar a los países en desarrollo a acceder al mercado internacional ejerciendo un deber de solidaridad para con ellos. Dicho deber se aplica a la lucha contra las enfermedades prioritarias y a su erradicación. Estas enfermedades son un poderoso factor de sufrimiento animal, de aumento de la pobreza y de riesgos de enfermedades de origen alimentario. La OIE dispone de una red de más de ciento cincuenta Laboratorios de Referencia en el mundo para ofrecer a los países miembros los mejores métodos para eliminar las enfermedades. Más recientemente, se ha confiado a la OIE la misión de integrar en su labor las enfermedades de los animales silvestres así como los problemas de seguridad sanitaria de los alimentos. En este campo, la OMC reconoce con prioridad al Codex Alimentarius, pero la OIE elabora las normas relativas a todos los riesgos que se han de evitar durante la etapa de cría y de transporte de los animales destinados al consumo. Los países miembros han considerado, en última instancia, que el vínculo entre la salud de los animales y su bienestar era tan obvio que la OIE debía convertirse en la referencia internacional en materia de protección de los animales. Además, otras actividades corrientes de la OIE, como las cuestiones sanitarias relativas al comercio internacional de animales vivos, la definición de normas en materia de erradicación de epizootias (despoblación de fincas infectadas, protección de los demás animales por medio de la vacunación) o de modalidades de certificación de las carnes y otros productos tras el sacrificio de los animales, pueden tener un vínculo importante con el bienestar animal. Así pues, los países miembros nos han encomendado preparar las bases de una guía de buena conducta internacional en favor de los animales tratando prioritariamente los temas que se refieren a las actividades antes mencionadas. Todo ello nos conduce hoy día a adentrarnos aún más en el centro de la relación hombre-animal. La OIE, antes abierta a un círculo de expertos y de especialistas, se acerca ahora a los consumidores y a los ciudadanos. 4 Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative

17 Setting the scene Abstract The OIE Historical and scientific background and prospects for the future B. Vallat Director-General, Office international des épizooties, 12 rue de Prony, F Paris; Keywords: OIE, World Organisation for Animal Health, animal welfare, animal health, World Trade Organisation The Office international des épizooties (OIE) was created in 1924 by 28 member countries. Its existence therefore precedes the creation of the United Nations, an organisation to which it does not belong. Although the acronym has been retained for historical reasons, the OIE is now called the World Organisation for Animal Health, with 166 member countries currently in the organisation. The OIE initially worked for transparency in the worldwide animal health situation, based on incontestable diagnostic methods and scientific knowledge. This mission, which is still a priority, gave all member countries the means to protect themselves against the introduction of pathogens on to their territory, whether they threatened only animals or both people and animals (zoonoses). This responsibility was extended when the OIE was recognised by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the reference organisation for guaranteeing the sanitary safety of world trade in animals and animal products (meat, milk, leather and skins, eggs, etc.), whilst avoiding unjustified sanitary barriers. In this field, the OIE is supporting efforts to help developing countries to access international markets as part of its duty of solidarity towards them. This obligation of solidarity applies to combating and eradicating priority diseases. Such diseases are a major factor affecting animal suffering, poverty and the risk of food-borne diseases. The OIE has a network of more than 150 reference laboratories throughout the world to provide its member countries with the best means of eliminating diseases. The OIE was more recently mandated to deal with diseases in wild animals and food safety. In this field, the Codex Alimentarius is given priority recognition by the WTO, but the OIE drafts standards relating to all animal production food safety risks, including those related to the transport of animals destined for consumption. It also became evident to our member countries that the link between animal health and animal welfare was so clear-cut that the OIE should also become the international reference organisation in the field of animal protection. Other day-to-day activities of the OIE, such as health issues relating to international trade in live animals, the definition of standards for the eradication of epizootic diseases (depopulation of infected farms, protection of other animals by vaccination) and certification procedures for meat and products from slaughterhouses, could also have a strong link with animal welfare. We have now been mandated by our member countries to prepare the basis for an international guide to good practice for animals, giving priority to issues associated with the abovementioned activities. We have therefore had to delve deeper into the heart of the relationship between animals and humans. The OIE, formerly open only to a circle of experts and specialists, is now moving closer to consumers and citizens. Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative 5

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19 Setting the scene The OIE process, procedures and international relations A. B. Thiermann President, Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission, Office international des épizooties, 12 rue de Prony, F Paris; Summary Among the several primary objectives of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), is the setting of animal health standards for safeguarding international trade. In order for countries and their stakeholders to maximise the benefits of globalisation, they must become familiar with, and must adhere to, the rights and obligations set out by the World Trade Organisation, under the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (WTO-SPS). Under the obligations of this agreement, countries must adhere to the standards, guidelines and recommendations established by the OIE, on matters related to animal health and zoonoses. Countries are also encouraged to actively participate in the standard-setting process of the OIE. Only after implementing these requirements and after strengthening the veterinary infrastructures, including surveillance and monitoring systems, will countries be able to fully benefit from these new international trade rules. For the purpose of this conference, it is important to be familiar with the standard-setting process within the OIE. Animal welfare is not one of the disciplines identified by the SPS agreement for purposes of international trade. However, animal welfare is an important subject within the work plan of the OIE, and one that needs to be addressed in the same scientific manner as the development of guidelines for the protection of animal health. This paper will attempt to explain the mechanisms employed by the OIE to accomplish this objective. Keywords: animal welfare, Office international des épizooties, World Trade Organisation, guidelines, standards Globalisation is becoming a force that is revolutionising international trade and in particular that of animals and animal products. This increase in agricultural trade has promising benefits towards the improvement of countries and peoples economies. During the 1990s, the international community made significant progress towards improved fairness and transparency on how to conduct international trade in a way that ensures safety in the protection of public, animal and plant health, while avoiding unjustified restrictions. However, in order to fully benefit from these new trade opportunities, countries have to adapt their infrastructures to the modern rules of the game. In order to accomplish this, there will be a greater demand for closer collaboration and interdependence between the private and the public sector. The future of governments and the competitiveness of their industries will depend on how well the structures and operations can adapt to meet the requirements set out by the WTO-SPS agreement. Historically, the General Agreement for Tariffs and Trade (GATT) had been working on the reduction and elimination of tariffs and subsidies in trade. During the Uruguay Round of the 1980s and early 1990s, the GATT turned its attention to agriculture and particularly the sanitary aspects of agricultural trade. One of the most significant outcomes of the Uruguay Round was the transformation of the GATT into the WTO, and the signing in 1994 of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. This agreement sets out the legal framework for international trade that is safe for the health of the public, animals and plants. As the WTO is not a scientific and technical organisation, it recognises and relies on three relevant standard-setting organisations for delivering these standards. For purposes of animal health, including zoonoses, the WTO recognises the OIE standards, guidelines and recommendations as the foundation for a country s sanitary measures. Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative 7

20 Setting the scene The WTO-SPS agreement recognises rights, obligations and special provisions as well as dispute-settlement procedures. Under rights, the WTO recognises that each country has the sovereign right to determine its own level of protection when establishing sanitary measures on imports. However, these rights are accompanied by clear obligations. The importing country, if it chooses to deviate from existing international standards and recommendations when establishing its sanitary measures, has to justify these actions through a transparent and scientifically-based risk analysis process. Countries adhering to international standards and recommendations when developing their import policies do not have to justify these through a risk analysis. Countries must also ensure that sanitary measures are applied only to the extent necessary to protect animal health and do not constitute arbitrary or unjustified discrimination between members. Sanitary measures applied on imports cannot be more restrictive than those applied at a national level. Among the more important special provisions of the WTO-SPS agreement, are those on harmonisation, equivalence, assessment of risk and appropriate level of protection, regionalisation, transparency and notification. Recommendations on the implementation of all these provisions are found in the so-called horizontal chapters of the OIE code. Possibly the most important of all special provisions of the agreement is the one on harmonisation. Under harmonisation, the agreement encourages its members to harmonise their sanitary measures on as wide a basis as possible, by basing them on international standards, guidelines and recommendations, where they exist, thereby conferring extreme importance to the standards set by the OIE. Under equivalence, the agreement indicates that countries shall accept the measures of other members as equivalent, even if these differ from their own and from those applied by others trading in the same product. For this purpose, the exporting country must objectively demonstrate to the importing country that the proposed measures achieve its level of protection. The intent of this provision is to encourage trading partners to focus their attention on the desired objectives of the measure rather than comparing measures for sameness. Under the assessment of risk and the determination of the appropriate level of sanitary protection, the agreement indicates that members must ensure that their sanitary measures are based on an assessment, appropriate for the circumstances, taking into account the risk-assessment techniques developed by the relevant standard-setting organisations, the OIE in this case. This process is aimed at minimising negative trade effects, it has to utilise all available scientific evidence and it must be done in a consistent manner. Members shall take into account as relevant economic factors the potential damage in terms of loss of production or sale in the event of the entry, establishment and spread of disease, the cost of control or eradication, and the relative cost-effectiveness of alternative approaches to limiting risks. However, the economic impact on national producers such as loss of revenue resulting from competition by the imports cannot be considered in the risk determination. Under regionalisation, the agreement indicates that sanitary measures must be adapted to the geographical and ecological characteristics of an area or region, taking into account the level of prevalence of a disease. It specifies that members shall recognise disease-free areas and areas of different health status within the territory of a country. However, it is the responsibility of the exporting country to provide the necessary evidence in order to demonstrate objectively to the importing country that such an area is safe, and is likely to remain safe. For this purpose, reasonable access shall be given to the importing country for inspection and testing. The OIE provides detailed recommendations on how to apply these provisions of regionalisation and more recently on compartmentalisation, which is a separation of animal sub-populations on the basis of management practices rather than geographical factors. Under transparency and notification, the agreement indicates that members are required to notify changes in their sanitary measures, such as changes in import regulations, in a timely manner. For this purpose, each country has to notify the WTO with enough 8 Global conference on animal welfare: an OIE initiative

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