Dr Monique Éloit, Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), is visiting Australia for the first time this week.
Australian Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Mark Schipp said the importance of the visit was not to be understated, as WOAH sets international animal health and welfare standards ensuring safe trade of animals and animal products and bettering public health across the globe.
“Australia has been a part of WOAH since 1925 and we are a strong contributor to WOAH processes and the development of global animal health standards,” Dr Schipp said.
“This work benefits not only Australia but the global community, as WOAH coordinates global disease control initiatives.
“WOAH also endorses official disease status for six diseases, which are recognised by the World Trade Organisation. Australia’s free status for all these six key diseases is critical for our trade interests.
“We warmly welcome Dr Éloit to Australia, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to engage in person on the many aspects of animal health and welfare that our government and stakeholders are involved with.”
Dr Éloit said she is keen to see firsthand the work that Australia is doing in veterinary public health and making the One Health approach a reality in the field.
“Global health requires that all sectors – animal, human and environmental – work together in a One Health approach, and Australia is fiercely committed to our mission of creating a healthier, more sustainable future for all,” Dr Éloit said.
Dr Éloit will meet with representatives from both government and non-government organisations during her stay, including Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt, Animal Health Australia, CSIRO, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, DFAT’s Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security Team and leaders from the department.