108 Member Countries of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) participated in the study “The contribution of Veterinary Services to global food security derived from terrestrial animals” and over half of them reported to have fewer than 35 public sector veterinarians per million inhabitants and fewer than 100 private sector veterinarians - involved in the food chain - per million inhabitants.
The study, presented at the 79th General Session of the World Assembly of National Delegates in Paris, highlighted that if an animal health institutional framework exists in all surveyed countries, resources unevenly focus on selected activities. As an example: 86% of countries reported having the theoretical capacity for early detection of animal health hazards, but 30% of them confirmed they had no disease outbreak suspicions during the previous 5 years, which puts the effectiveness of the surveillance system in question. The study confirmed that the budget allocated to Veterinary Services remains insufficient even when the contribution of animal production to GDP is very high, as is the case in poor countries where agricultural GDP remains a very important share of the country’s economy.
The findings of the study reflected an overall weakness of animal health surveillance systems in developing countries, underlining that “since more than 90% of the budget consists of a state grant in over 60% of countries, the level of development of the Veterinary Services is directly related to the weak state of the economy in these countries (…) even when the contribution of animal production to GDP is very high.”