USDA Signs International Agreements Supporting Animal Health and Global Trade
July 1, 2016

A U.S. delegation, led by Jack Shere, DVM, USDA Chief Veterinary Officer, and John Clifford, DVM, U.S. Delegate to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) participated in the 84th General Session in Paris, France.

International trade is a key factor in the economic and financial stability of many countries. Trade restrictions resulting from an animal disease outbreak can have devastating economic effects. With this in mind, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service signed three international agreements on this topic last month at the OIE meeting. These agreements will make it easier to maintain safe and fair trade of animals and animal products if an animal disease outbreak occurs.

The three arrangements signed by the United States are:
  • International Animal Health Emergency Reserve (also signed by Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom) - allows countries to share emergency response personnel as needed during an animal disease outbreak to rapidly and more effectively control and eradicate an outbreak;
  • Sharing of Vaccines for Foot and Mouth Disease (also signed by Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand) - lets countries more readily request FMD vaccine from their respective FMD vaccine banks; and
  • Supporting the Recognition of Zoning for Foreign Animal Disease Outbreaks (also signed by Australia, Canada and New Zealand) - agreement allows countries to understand and accept each other's processes for managing outbreaks and paves the way for recognizing "zones" for trading purposes.