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Mission To Improve Veterinary Services In Fiji

Two international consultants are in Fiji to conduct a ‘Performance Veterinary Services’ (PVS) gap analysis on behalf of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The consultants are currently undertaking
31 Mar 2017 10:30
Mission To Improve Veterinary Services In Fiji

Two international consultants are in Fiji to conduct a ‘Performance Veterinary Services’ (PVS) gap analysis on behalf of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The consultants are currently undertaking the mission with the aim to define a strategy in accordance with Fiji’s overall vision for the role of veterinary services in the country.

The OIE had previously assisted Fiji to better implement the international standards which they have adopted, through many of their support programmes financed by funds other than membership contribution to the member countries.

The goal is to meet the overarching objectives and priorities of the OIE to improve animal health and welfare in the nation regardless of the cultural practices or the economic situations in Fiji and also modernise legislations which provide a more conducive environment for investment and trade.

The cornerstone to support the activities for Fiji includes the PVS Pathway which corresponds to a global programme for the sustainable development of Fiji’s veterinary services for improved food safety and combat the zoonotic diseases which can lead to economic losses affecting livelihoods of Fijians.

Fiji became a member of World Trade Organisation (WTO) on January 14, 1996, and OIE on May 18, 2007.

BAF has been Fiji’s OIE representative since September 2015 with its chief executive officer, Xavier Khan appointed as Permanent Delegate for Fiji to the OIE.

BAF is now the official National Sanitary and Phytosanitary Notification Authority and Enquiry Point under the WTO that encompasses the OIE which is the international standard setting body for animal health.

BAF through the support of the Fijian Government and the Permanent Delegate secured assistance from OIE for the PVS Gap Analysis Mission to Fiji.

Further, the OIE guideline on veterinary legislation was used to identify the gaps in the current veterinary legislations of Fiji during the Veterinary Legislation Support Programme Identification mission from 1 – 4 November 2016.

A high level ministerial meeting with OIE PVS Gap Analysis consultants with the Office of the Attorney-General, Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Health and Medical Servicer further deliberated on this on March 28.

The OIE consultants are also meeting with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Fiji Meat and Industry Board, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji Co-operative Dairy Company Limited, Fiji National University and other stakeholders.

Mr Khan said the OIE PVS Gap Analysis mission will help identify current shortfalls and areas of improvement that will assist BAF and the country as a whole to appropriately comply with OIE requirements that we are currently lacking in.

Mr Khan said the OIE consultants have worked across many regions of the world and in countries with similar needs as Fiji and this is an added advantage of hosting them here.

“Acting on the recommendations of this evaluation will enable BAF to better facilitate the requirements for animal and animal product exports, improve services rendered to imported and in-transit animals, enhance the quality of domestic veterinary services, improve food safety, quarantine and mitigate animal health issues.”

According to Mr Khan, animal disease surveillance is one of the four integral functions performed by BAF and proactive measures are already being taken to better BAF services in this area.

“Expert analysis and recommendations will also assist BAF engage local as well as international funding agencies for many of our investment and development plans.”

He encouraged all Fijians to help BAF protect Fiji from harmful invasive pests and diseases as Fijian government through BAF is committed towards improving animal and plant health services in the country.

The PVS gap mission analysis was held from March 21, 2017 and ended on Wednesday.

Source: Biosecurity Authority of Fiji      

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