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24-06-2009 - OIE reiterates its advice on A (H1N1) influenza

OIE reiterates its advice on A (H1N1) influenza

THE World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has reiterated its advice regarding A (H1N1) influenza in animals following a declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) that infection in humans has reached the level of a global pandemic.

In a statement on June 11, the OIE said it was maintaining its previous recommendations to animal health authorities worldwide. These are that:

  • National veterinary services should effectively monitor animal populations for clinical signs of disease, use appropriate confirmation diagnostic methods and rapidly report occurrences of the disease, if any, in animals to the OIE;
  • Pork and pork products, handled in accordance with recommended good hygiene practices, are not a source of infection;
  • The imposition of ban measures related to the import of pigs and pig products from countries with human cases of A (H1N1) are pointless and do not comply with international standards;
  • The culling of pigs will not help to guard against public or animal health risks presented by this novel A (H1N1) influenza virus and such action is not recommended;
  • If countries decide to cull pigs on a precautionary basis, culling should be carried out in accordance with OIE international standards.

Bernard Vallat, the OIE's director general, said: 'A (H1N1) is indeed a public health issue for all worldwide, but so far the role of animals has not been demonstrated in its epidemiology or spread. Thus, recommendations we made since the start of this crisis remain valid.'

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