The OIE considers disease surveillance in wild animals—including both terrestrial and aquatic species—to be important. In response to an increased risk of disease emergence at the human-animal-environment interface, the organisation developed a new OIE Wildlife Health Management Framework. The overall objective is to protect wildlife health worldwide to achieve One Health. This will involve a multi-sectoral approach to concentrate on the human-animal-ecosystem interface. This virtual meeting was therefore organised to share information on wildlife between OIE Members in the Pacific, and to discuss future priority wildlife health activities in the sub-region.
43 participants joined the meeting. They included representatives from 5 OIE Members in the Pacific: Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Several observers from FAO, WHO and the Pacific Community (SPC) were also present.
Dr Kugita announced that the OIE Wildlife Health Survey Report and new OIE Wildlife Health Framework were recently published. After the brief opening remarks, Professor Walasinee Sakcamduang (Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science at Mahidol University, Thailand) gave a presentation on the importance of wildlife health, stressing the need of surveillance for emerging zoonotic diseases. Dr Andrew Peters (Charles Sturt University, Australia) and Dr Tania Areori (NAQIA, Papua New Guinea) explained why a community-based approach is essential to wildlife health in the Pacific. Dr Ruth Garcia Gomez (Cawthron Institute, New Zealand) discussed targeted epidemiological surveillance in aquatic wildlife disease in the region, before Dr Rupert Woods (Wildlife Health Australia) gave an update on the OIE Working Group on Wildlife. Representatives from Members in the sub-region made a short presentation on wildlife activities. This led into the discussion session which focused on possible future activities relating to wildlife in the Pacific, including both Veterinary Services and other sectors.