healthcare

Animal health: Project to strengthen national veterinary supervision system launched 

December 14, 2022

(TAP) - A twinning project between Tunisia, France and Italy to strengthen the national veterinary supervision of animal health was launched Tuesday in Tunis.


Funded by the European Union in the amount of 1.5 million euros, this project aims essentially at contributing to the preservation of human and animal health according to the transversal approach 'One Health', which links human, animal and environmental health.


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this approach 'involves programmes, policies, legislation and research in which different sectors work together to achieve better public health outcomes'.


The three-year twinning project also aims to promote primary livestock production and develop international trade, particularly with the European Union.


It also aims to improve the efficiency of veterinary services, both for the benefit of farmers and their partners as well as the various actors in the value chain.


Speaking at the seminar to launch the project, Chedia Seghaier, Director of the General Directorate of Veterinary Services at the Ministry of Agriculture, said that this twinning is 'an opportunity for the operational implementation of the 2030 strategy for veterinary services and the alignment of the livestock sector with international standards'.

/// The livestock sector represents nearly 5% of the national GDP ///

According to her, this sector plays an important socio-economic role insofar as it alone represents 35% to 40% of the agricultural GDP or nearly 5% of the national GDP.


Despite national efforts to support animal disease control programmes, she said, the animal health situation remains 'worrying' in Tunisia, which requires, according to her, a revision of the policy and legal framework related to animal health.


For EU Ambassador Marcus Cornaro, this project will allow the establishment of a robust operational control system based on risk analysis which will be piloted by the various ministerial departments concerned, including health, trade, agriculture and industry.


He also stressed the 'unwavering' support of the EU for Tunisia in terms of compliance with European and international health standards.


For his part, French ambassador to Tunisia, André Parant, said that human health is closely linked to animal health, stressing that the preservation of animal health will support the productivity of livestock and strengthen food security in the country.


Italian ambassador to Tunis, Fabrizio Saggio, stressed in this context that the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the irrational exploitation of natural resources, including animals, has a direct impact on human health, pleading for joint action between the various stakeholders based on a cross-cutting approach combining human, animal and environmental health.

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