Last updated : 26 Jan 2022

Wildlife Health

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Introduction

The OIE considers disease surveillance in wild animals—including both terrestrial and aquatic species—to be just as important as surveillance in domestic animals. Pathogens in wild animals are important to domestic animal health, to trade in animals and animal products, to human health and to wild animal populations themselves, which often have very high economic, social and cultural value. Surveillance especially at the interface of human-animal-ecosystems has become necessary given the increasing interaction between species and the threat it poses to emergence of novel infectious diseases.

The Asia and the Pacific region has rich aquatic and terrestrial fauna, with many biodiversity hotspots. Wildlife are an important resource and veterinarians play a key role in helping to maintain wildlife health. Recently, emerging zoonoses such as Nipah virus and important transboundary animal diseases such as African swine fever have emphasised the importance of wildlife disease surveillance. The OIE supports networking of key stakeholders in wildlife health and sharing of wildlife disease information.

Many of the chapters in the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code and the OIE Aquatic Animal Health Code deal with wildlife, partly or entirely. Further information about the OIE’s work on wildlife is available on the global OIE website Wildlife page.

The OIE Delegate in each Member country nominates a National Focal Point on Wildlife . This contact point supports the Delegate in tasks relating to wildlife. The OIE also provides capacity building with training cycles for Focal Points. The most recent cycle (5th Training Cycle) for the Asia and Pacific region was held in August 2021 and an Intermediate cycle training round was held globally in September 2021 .

 

OIE Working Group on Wildlife

The OIE Working Group on Wildlife was founded in 1994, to advise the OIE on health problems relating to wild animals (whether in the wild or in captivity).

 

Worldwide Monitoring System for Wild Animal Diseases

The OIE World Animal Health Information System (OIE-WAHIS) is used for reporting of OIE listed diseases affecting animals including wildlife. Additionally, OIE Members can report non OIE-listed diseases affecting wild animals.

SARS-CoV-2 (causing COVID-19 disease in humans)

Several animal species have demonstrated susceptibility to the SARS-CoV-2 virus through experimental infection, and in natural settings when in contact with infected humans. More information about SARS-CoV-2 in animals and the work of the OIE can be found on the global OIE website COVID-19 page.

Stories from the region

There is an ongoing OIE Twinning Project between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) and the Thailand National Wildlife Health Center (Thailand-NWHC)/Monitoring and Surveillance Center for Zoonotic Diseases in Wildlife and Exotic Animals (MoZWE). This OIE Twinning project aims to develop wildlife diagnostic and surveillance capacity for the Thailand-NWHC/MoZWE. It is scheduled to run until 2022.

Good Practices in Wildlife Health in Asia and the Pacific Region (New: 9 Dec 2021)

Activities in the region

Training manuals for OIE National Focal Points for Wildlife

OIE Reference Centres relevant for wildlife and biodiversity in Asia and the Pacific

Resources and further reading