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H1N1 in Animals Not Cause for Trade Restrictions

by 5m Editor
9 November 2009, at 12:52pm

GLOBAL - The international trade of live pigs and other animal species and their products should continue uninterrupted because there is no evidence suggesting that animals play any role in the spread of Novel H1N1 to humans, according to a statement issued by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

The OIE said it is closely monitoring the world animal health situation including infections of all susceptible animals with the pandemic H1N1 2009 virus.

“Pandemic H1N1 2009 virus infections in pigs and other susceptible animals were assessed as probable from the very first days after the virus was detected in humans. So, it does not come as a surprise that notifications of infection in new animals species are received; on the contrary it demonstrates animal disease surveillance is efficient and functioning to the benefit of all,” said Dr Bernard Vallat, OIE Director General.

Regular reports to the OIE show disease surveillance in animals and reporting mechanisms are functioning well and, that the very vast majority of OIE Member Countries act in full transparency with the international community.

So far, no evidence has suggested that animals play any particular role in the epidemiology or the spread of the pandemic H1N1 2009 virus among humans. Instead, investigations led by competent national authorities point to possible human–to–animal transmission in most cases. For this reason, the OIE considers that it is sufficient to certify the healthy state of animals for international trade during the relevant period before their exportation and maintains its position that no specific measures, including laboratory tests, are required for international trade in live pigs and other susceptible animal species and/or their products.