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Chinese Officials Identify Veterinary Priorities

Published: Jun 29, 2012
Livestock diseases and epidemics that continue to play a major role in defining China’s livestock markets were the focus of a national conference organized earlier this month by the China Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA). Speakers at the event spelled out some of the veterinary policy objectives of China's rapidly developing livestock sector.

USMEF China Director for Government Affairs and Analysis Jianwen Liu attended the second annual conference, which included major veterinarian decision makers and influencers from the CVMA as well as the China Animal Diseases Control Center, provincial Animal Diseases Control Center directors and staff, scientists from universities and research institutes, representatives from multinational pharmaceutical companies and media.

International speakers from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and professors from University of Minnesota and Kansas State University attended the summit and shared their knowledge of veterinary public health and animal origin food safety with the Chinese attendees, as well as discussing the key attributes of a successful veterinary service system.

Dr. Zhang Zhongqiu, director-general of the Veterinary Bureau of the MOA, explained the establishment, current status, issues and achievements of China’s veterinary service system, and provided the government’s perspective on improving the system in the future.

Other presentations by Chinese officials and scientists covered the current state of China’s animal disease epidemic surveillance system. Several presenters emphasized the importance of identifying and ameliorating FMD and Avian influenza in China and acknowledged these major diseases are affecting China’s animal husbandry industry.

“The conference was very helpful in determining the direction of China’s development in terms of veterinary service provision,” said Jianwen Liu. “Livestock diseases and epidemics continue to play a major role in defining China’s livestock markets.”

USMEF plans to host a group of Chinese veterinary officials in the fall for a view of the U.S. livestock industry. USMEF and several Chinese government institutions are ramping up cooperation as part of the new bilateral U.S.-China Agricultural Cooperation effort to discuss mutual areas of interest as they relate to food security, food safety and sustainability. The agreement was signed by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and China’s Minister of Agriculture Han Chang Fu in February.

China remains closed to U.S. beef imports, but in April China was the second-largest export market for U.S. pork, buying 39,242 metric tons (86.5 million pounds) valued at $77.9 million, increases of 37 percent in volume and 88 percent in value over the first four months of 2011.