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Leading Vets Make International Waves

Four New Zealand veterinarians have been appointed to top level positions at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Dr Andrew McKenzie, New Zealand Food Safety Authority Executive Director has been appointed Chairperson of the Animal Production Food Safety Working Group. This role complements Dr McKenzie's position as chairman of the Codex Committee on Meat and Poultry Hygiene.

Dr Barry O'Neil, MAF's Director of Biosecurity, has been appointed Vice President of the International Committee and the Administration Commission, which is the governing body of the OIE.

Dr David Bayvel, MAF's Director, Animal Welfare has been appointed Chairperson of the Animal Welfare Working Group.

Dr Stuart McDiarmid, NZFSA Principal Adviser Zoonoses Animal Health, has been appointed Secretary General of the Animal Health Standards Commission.

The OIE sets the international standards for trade in animal products and its decisions have considerable impact on New Zealand's farming and food sectors.

"The work of these four veterinarians has put New Zealand at the forefront of international developments in food safety, animal health and welfare and veterinary science. It recognises the expertise and standing of New Zealand in these important areas," MAF's Director-General Murray Sherwin said.

"These appointments were made at the 71st annual General Session of the International Committee of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), held in Paris last week. The main technical issues discussed were how countries could better protect themselves from the risks of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), foot and mouth disease and avian influenza. Conditions for safe trade in animals and animal products were also discussed.

"The OIE says the appointments of Dr Andrew McKenzie and Dr David Bayvel recognise the evolution of new fields of activity for their organisation - animal welfare and food safety," he said.




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