The 91st General Session of the World Assembly of Delegates started on May 26 at the Maison de La Chimie in Paris, France. Every May, the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), a global and intergovernmental authority on animal health, convenes in the French capital, serving as the highest body of the WOAH composed of delegates from all member countries. This year’s event had a special significance as it coincided with the organization’s 100-year anniversary.

During the five days of this event, the global network of the WOAH convenes to commemorate its history and discuss its dynamic present, exploring collaborations to ensure a sustainable future for global animal health and welfare. The 2024 assembly expects the participation of 183 WOAH members, alongside representatives from international organizations with official agreements with the WOAH, observer countries and territories, and special guests.

Juan Carlos Domínguez, president of ChileCarne, noted that “for the second consecutive year, we have been part of Chile’s official delegation to the annual WOAH assembly. This year marks 100 years since the creation of the World Organisation for Animal Health (formerly OIE), which aims to contribute to the improvement of animal health and welfare by participating in the development of health standards and helping control the spread of animal diseases.”

The World Assembly of Delegates aims to adopt various administrative and technical decisions and proceed with elections to fill vacancies in some of the organization’s governing bodies. An interactive forum inspired by the 100th Anniversary Participatory Foresight Project will be a notable feature of the event. This innovative forum seeks to create a space for open dialogue, knowledge sharing, and the collective exploration of emerging futures, addressing the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly evolving world.

ChileCarne’s president also underscored that “having the opportunity to exchange experiences and learn about other countries’ efforts in fighting various diseases that affect animal health reaffirms the importance of safeguarding Chile’s biosecurity assets and the significant role played by both the Chilean Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) and the National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca) in achieving this goal.”

The WOAH also held a ceremony on May 26 to honor the 2024 recipients of the Animal Health Achievement Awards. Dr. Hugo Idoyaga, president of the WOAH, and Dr. Monique Éloit, director general, joined the World Assembly of Delegates to celebrate the achievements of the awardees.

The prestigious Gold Medal was awarded to Dr. Mark Schipp (Australia), a global authority on animal health, biosecurity, and antimicrobial resistance, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to scientific and technological development in this field. Meritorious Awards were granted to Dr. Mia Kim Torchetti (USA), Dr. Edmund Peeler (UK), and Dr. Malek Zrelli (Tunisia) for their significant contributions to control animal diseases, animal welfare, and veterinary public health.

ChileCarne’s participation in WOAH’s General Session underscores the association’s commitment to improving animal health and veterinary public health around the world.