FEI President Princess Haya has hailed the joint approach between the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the FEI as a model of a new and innovative approach to finding sustainable solutions to human and animal health issues.
Haya was speaking at the opening of the 81st General Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates in France, attended by government representatives, animal health authority ministers and chief veterinary officers from 178 countries.
She was appointed to serve as the OIE’s first goodwill ambassador last September, to help raise worldwide awareness of its missions and activities.
After the inaugural address by OIE president Dr Karin Schwabenbauer, Haya spoke to delegates in Paris about the importance of taking innovative action and finding sustainable solutions to human and animal health issues.
“Sustainability does not mean introducing an approach that is replicated again and again without further improvement,” she said.
“Sustainability is most powerful when it creates a ‘mindset’, a mindset that involves exploring problems from every angle and seeking new approaches to resolving them – instead of simply relying on old habits.
“Working together sustainably means forming successful partnerships with aims that are clear to everyone.”
Haya used the example of the public-private partnership recently established between the OIE and the FEI as a model of a new and innovative approach.
Last February, the FEI and OIE embarked on a three-year plan in response to growing demand from countries for help in improving the current approach to the cross-border movement of top-level sport horses that present a lower disease risk, as the participation in equestrian competitions reaches a record high.
The plan marks a milestone in the FEI’s 10-year working relationship with the OIE, and was put into action at the start of what could be the busiest event calendar in the history of equestrian sport.
“Together, the OIE and FEI are creating a system to differentiate health requirements for the temporary movement of healthy sport horses, which are under a high degree of veterinary supervision, from those for other types of horses,” Haya said.
“A thriving economy, especially a rural economy, is based on trade and is a means to a nation’s stability. We must support local economies by promoting safe and sustainable trade among nations.
“High-level partnerships must be supported by governments and their national industries, or they never work. This is precisely what the FEI intends to achieve by building a solid foundation at the national level.
“This foundation, built on a consistent application of controls and biosecurity, allows the local equine industry to flourish and develop and, at the same time, answers the concerns of governments.”