Six years after the launch of its World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has announced the implementation of a new version of the system.
The OIE said the updated system was in line with its mission to "extend transparency, efficiency and speed with which animal health information is disseminated throughout the world".
The major change in the new version is the integration of a specific section for wildlife diseases notification into WAHIS.
"The same importance and thoroughness given to the surveillance and control of diseases in domestic animals must apply to wildlife, when relevant, as global movements and exchanges of pathogens within and between the two populations as well as towards men, are increasing.” said OIE Director General, Dr Bernard Vallat.
The new section for wildlife disease notification in WAHIS allows Members to complement compulsory information on OIE-listed diseases of wild species but also to notify on a voluntary basis specific wildlife diseases that are not officially OIE-listed.
The new version of WAHIS proposes many other improvements including new options such as:
- The possibility to identify affected wild species by taxonomic family and Latin names;
- A new integrated database containing susceptible wild species by disease;
- Countries can select diseases present in their territories, provide monthly information on these diseases during an ongoing semester and finalize the rest of the requested data at the end of a given semester.
Two other new sections have been completely developed in the second version of WAHIS. WAHIS Regional Core can be customized for a group of countries or a defined region so that they can provide more information on selected priority diseases of their choice. Countries can send information on a monthly basis or by outbreak occurrence.
OIE/NACA Regional Core is meant to collect monthly information, from the concerned countries from the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia and Pacific Region (NACA) and OIE Members, on OIE aquatic animal diseases as well as on other diseases of regional interest.
“With optimal electronic tools, the support of Delegates and capacity building of their national focal points nominated for animal disease notification, the OIE is better armed to provide to the international community the earliest warning on relevant disease events and an improved knowledge of worldwide animal health situation,” explained Dr Karim Ben Jebara Head of the OIE Animal Health Information Department.