This information note explores trade issues associated with the spread of diseases of animal origin and the international framework in place to address them. It seeks to map actions being taken to control these diseases so as to ensure safe trade in animals and animal products, including in wildlife. The note is not exhaustive, but, rather, is an overview of the current issues and the status of legal frameworks and planned future actions to control the spread of zoonoses through trade
The existing guidance for trade in animals and animal products and the international legal framework are built on the recognition that safe trade in animals and animal products is possible, based on the implementation of science-based interventions to manage risk. Implementing existing guidance and developing more detailed standards and guidance for particular risk factors requires engagement at the international level, and investment to ensure that domestic, regional and global public, veterinary and environmental health systems are well prepared and have a solid basis for collaboration.
The SPS Committee provides a forum where WTO members can exchange information and discuss their approaches to the SPS measures adopted to address the risk of COVID-19 and other zoonoses; other WTO committees can serve as discussion fora for related issues. By providing a “peer-review mechanism”, whereby WTO members can comment on other members’ SPS measures and share relevant information on good practices and scientific evidence, these exchanges can help to improve the quality of regulation in this area, thus ensuring that trade measures contribute to enhancing future resilience to diseases of animal origin.
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