Key issues

The outgoing president of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has put cost-sharing and compensation as two key areas that need to be addressed in the future by industry.

New Zealander Barry O'Neill, speaking at a talk in London entitled Current International Animal Health and Welfare Challenges and Developments in New Zealand, said: "Compensation is often the most expensive item. We must ensure we are fully in line with international organisations and our standards are appropriate."

Referring to the possible re-opening of the New Zealand live export trade, closed since 2003, O'Neill said that, were this trade to be opened again, New Zealand authorities had set the highest animal welfare standards for the industry to follow.

"It is not about perimeters but looking at whether the welfare standards are met," he said.

O'Neill added he will also be soon talking to Egyptian members of the OIE after a questions from the audience about the Egyptian authorities' policy of slaughtering pigs as a precaution to a possible outbreak of A(H1N1) influenza in the country.

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