WHOA celebrates 100 years of improving animal health and welfare

The World Organization for Animal Health celebrates a century of unwavering commitment and achievements in health promotion around the world that have made it an international authority.

Image: OMSA.Image: OMSA.

The World Organization for Animal Health (WHOA) proudly celebrates 100 years of unwavering commitment and achievements in promoting animal health and welfare around the world. The path that has led WHOA to become the world authority on animal health has been marked by a long history of turning points.

Created in 1924, OMSA was founded when 28 countries came together to combat rinderpest, one of the deadliest animal diseases of its time. This initiative, which responded to the challenges posed by the increase in international trade in animals and their products, laid the foundation for the Organization’s leadership in the field of international animal health and welfare. In 2011, rinderpest became the first animal disease to be declared eradicated globally.

Today, the 28 signatory countries of the 1924 international agreement have become 183 members. In May 2023, the organization, formerly known as OIE (Office International des Epizooties), underwent an extensive corporate rebranding exercise and combined its acronym with its common name, World Organization for Animal Health (WHO). .

“Scientific rigor and transparency have been the guiding principles from its inception to today. Over the past century, the world has seen dramatic changes ranging from the spread of infectious diseases to climate-related disasters, and the rise of today’s emerging challenges has transformed perceptions. “Our mandate for animal health and welfare, and our collaboration, requires the continued development of health administration and the introduction of new areas of action, such as the animal health treatment of animals in emergency situations,” he tells WHOA.

marked by epidemic

Inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, the One Health approach has gained momentum, leading to the formation of a quadrilateral partnership with FAO, UNEP and WHO that seeks to ensure greater integration of human health, animal health and environmental health. By monitoring and spreading knowledge about animal diseases, we have worked to limit their adverse effects on society. For a century, we have been at the forefront of fighting infectious animal diseases using innovation as the driving force.

“Solidarity and close collaboration with our members has been key to our success. These close relationships allow us to obtain accurate and timely information and create tools to help control disease outbreaks and solve other problems related to animal health Over time, we have included animal health in the general debate on everyone’s health. Our aim is to promote a nuanced understanding that animal health is not a separate universe and through partnerships, programmatic interventions ,Shared experiences, as well as communication and public support can contribute to making this a safer and more sustainable planet,” he explains.

“While our founding values ​​remind us of our goals, this centennial celebration provides an important opportunity to look to the future and reflect on how emerging trends will impact animal health and welfare. For this reason, and with Coinciding with the centenary, our organization has undertaken an intensive foresight exercise aimed at beginning to formulate responses to future conditions in a world that is moving at a fast pace,” he adds.

Dr. Monique Alloit, Director-General of WHOA, highlights the pride that this trajectory represents: “We are proud of our history and our dynamism that positions us as a world authority in the field of animal health and welfare. Encouraged by this.” Centenary year, we are more determined than ever to face new challenges by defining the path to our future with the collective experience and conviction of our entire network of employees and partners,” he says.

facing threats

Based on collaboration, innovation and inclusion, OMSA works on interconnected challenges. “As we begin a new century, we will continue to evolve, adapt, and collaborate with our members, the scientific community, and the veterinary staff. Our aim is to engage the policy makers who shape the future of health care. and global animal welfare,” he recalls.

From the threat posed by avian influenza and antimicrobial resistance to zoonotic diseases and the sustainability of animal production, there are many challenges that lie ahead. Interregional cooperation and multilateralism will remain at the heart of our action, recognizing that global problems with wide-reaching impact cannot be solved by single actors.

“This centenary is a great opportunity to express our utmost gratitude to all our members, associated sectors, partners, associates and staff for their invaluable support. We look forward to continuing our journey towards stronger, better and more resilient animal health for the benefit of look forward for.” of health for all”, concludes WHOA.


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 First meeting of the Institutional Group (Image: Government of Aragon).

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Image: Interpork.

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