The OIE Veterinary Legislation Support Programme (VLSP), established in 2008 to help Member Countries recognise and address their needs for modern, comprehensive veterinary legislation, is one component of the targeted support proposed by the PVS Pathway, the OIE’s flagship capacity-building platform for the sustainable improvement of national Veterinary Services (VS).
In many countries, veterinary legislation is outdated and not adequate to meet current and future challenges, such as the growing global demand for foods of animal origin, increased participation in world trade, shifting disease patterns associated with climate change, the emergence and re-emergence of diseases that can rapidly spread across international borders and increased risks of bioterrorism.
Veterinary legislation is an essential element of a nation’s infrastructure. It provides the powers and authority necessary for VS to carry out their key functions in the veterinary domain(1) efficiently, to ensure public safety and promote the public good.
The initial stage is the Veterinary Legislation Identification Mission. The objectives of the mission are to:
raise awareness of the essential elements of legal drafting that result in quality veterinary legislation and of the importance of quality veterinary legislation for the effective operation of VS
ascertain the Member Country’s available human, financial and organisational resources to produce high-quality veterinary legislation
identify or support the preparation of national priorities for veterinary legislation
develop recommendations to modernise the Member Country’s veterinary legislation.
If the experts of this mission find that the country has sufficient political will and the human and financial resources to successfully undertake it, the second stage is the Veterinary Legislation Agreement. The objectives of the Agreement are to:
establish specific objectives for legislation reform/modernisation, according to the Member Country’s most urgent needs and strategic objectives
raise awareness, strengthen relevant skills and promote collaboration between technical and legal drafters, with the emphasis on strengthening the Member Country’s capability to prepare and implement veterinary legislation of acceptable quality
support the development of specific new laws and regulations in accordance with the Member Country’s priority needs and strategic objectives.
In addition, standard Veterinary Legislation Identification Missions can include the analysis of veterinary legislation related to specific themes of particular interest to the OIE, its partners and Member Countries.
The first of these is biological threat reduction to increase awareness of: the role of VS in mitigating biological threats; the need to strengthen veterinary legislation to ensure that there is clear and specific power to act in the face of the intentional introduction of biological agents; and the need for cooperation with other Competent Authorities by putting collaborative arrangements in place before incidents occur.
The second of these specific themes is antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a global concern of the Tripartite partners of the OIE, FAO and WHO. Pilot missions are currently being organised to review country legislation relevant to AMR in the context of the VLSP Veterinary Legislation Identification Mission. The assessment tools are being developed collaboratively between the OIE and FAO.
______________________________ (1) The OIE defines the veterinary domain as: ‘all the activities that are directly or indirectly related to animals, their products and by-products, which help to protect, maintain and improve the health and welfare of humans, including by means of the protection of animal health and welfare, and food safety’ (Article 3.4.2. of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code).
Are you an OIE Delegate who is interested in this programme? Has your country already hosted a PVS Evaluation (which is a prerequisite)?
You can send an official request or ask for further information by e-mailing the following contacts: