Indonesia urges establishment of animal health center in Southeast Asia

Indonesia urges establishment of animal health center in Southeast Asia

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Jakarta — The Indonesian Agriculture Ministry is holding a meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Animal Health and Zoonosis (ACCAHZ) in Yogyakarta from June 27 to 29, which is considered an important measure to protect people’s health in Southeast Asia. The meeting is attended by representatives from ASEAN member states, ASEAN Secretariat, as well as FAO Regional Office for Asia and Pacific. ACCAHZ is the manifastation of ASEAN’s commitment to protect the health of the people and animals, the ministry’s Director General of Lifestock and Animal Health, I Ketut Diarmita, stated in a press release on Thursday (28/06). The coordinating center, according to him, must ensure the speed in responding to incidents related to cases of animal diseases and zoonoses, especially close-border animal diseases in the ASEAN region. The establishment of ACCAHZ has been initiated since 2012 by the signing of a cooperation agreement by all agriculture ministers of ASEAN member countries in Singapore. Following the signing of the agreement, further regulation and technical matters, such as procedural arrangements, host country agreements, budgetary deposits, financial arrangements, and governing board arrangements, as decision maker within the framework of ACCAHZ will be required. Diarmitra stressed that inter-state agreements, the ASEAN agreement, through ACCAHZ, aims at enhancing mutually beneficial technical and trade cooperation with good commitment, planning and implementation. Indonesia maintains a status free of animal diseases, such as foot and mouth disease, mad cow disease, and rinderpest disease, which is deemed strategic by the OIE-World Organization for Animal Health. Such a measurement has put additional value for Indonesia in its disease control efforts an animal product safety assurance in the ASEAN region, so as to ensure and facilitate the process of exporting animals and its products to other countries in the region. Currently, Indonesia exports processed poultry products, eggs, and animal medicines to ASEAN countries. Through various international and regional opportunities, Indonesia consistently provides information related to animal health and safety guarantee, as well as products to be exported and penetrate and ease trade barriers. “At this time, animal health issues and animal product security issues have become important issues in international trade. They often become a barrier in penetrating the global market.”

Source: Antaranews

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