Gambia: AU-Ibar Committed to Strengthen Gambia Veterinary Legislation

The Director of the African Union Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-BAR) Professor Ahmed El-Sawalhy, has affirmed their strong commitment towards strengthening Gambia's Veterinary Legislation.

Professor Ahmed El-Sawalhy made this statement during the weekend while presiding over the closing ceremony of a weeklong seminar on the collective review of Veterinary Legislation organized and supported by AU-IBAR for AU member states.

The mission headed by Professor Ahmed El-Sawalhy on Veterinary Legislation Review Forum was hosted by the Department of Livestock Services (DLS) under the Ministry of Agriculture. The forum was attended by seventy participants drawn from twenty three states on the continent.

Professor Ahmed El-Sawalhy in his closing remarks said a GAP analysis and evaluation of the veterinary legislation undertaken in 2006 by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), highlights serious gaps in the national veterinary services and veterinary legislations, and therefore the need for strengthening both country and REC levels.

He said AU-IBAR has initiated the process of harmonizing priority domains of veterinary legislation in various regions through the Regional Economic Communities.

"The RECs have identified priority domains. Therefore, the training and collective review of veterinary legislations you have undertaken this week, will go a long way in taking the harmonization process forward. I therefore request that as you take the process forward, you should also ensure the inclusion of regional perspectives in the draft legislation. Harmonization of legislation will lead to the cost effectiveness of our interventions at the regional level and to our desired outcomes".

According to Professor EL-Sawalhy, the seminar has provided participants with an opportunity to enhance their capacity to support their various national processes for review and the updating of veterinary legislation; that bringing together health and legal experts has allowed production of high quality "layman's drafts" and drafting instructions and the continued consultation between animal health and legal experts in order to speed up the process at the national level thereby assuring economic effectiveness and efficiency

"AU-IBAR is committed to work with you as you take the process forward and will provide support for national coordination and stakeholder engagement leading to national validation of the draft legislation," he said; that further support will be provided towards advocacy for enactment and further capacity building.

He urged participants to be commitment towards the successful implementation of the draft legislation in order to make it achieve its intended purpose. He finally thanked the Government and people of the Gambia for the successful hosting of this important regional forum.

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