Singapore’s Excellence in Food Safety and Animal Health Gains Recognition from OIE
AVA’s track record and excellence in food safety has not only successfully ensured the well-being of Singaporeans, but also continued to gain international recognition. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recently endorsed our Veterinary Public Health Centre (VPHC) as Southeast Asia’s first OIE Collaborating Centre for Food Safety, serving Asia and Oceania.
VPHC is the cornerstone of our integrated food safety programme. Its laboratories conduct stringent food safety tests on food products, and boast a multi-disciplinary team of professionals and scientists who provide a comprehensive range of analytical services.
As an OIE Collaborating Centre for Food Safety, VPHC will be working more closely with experts from OIE and other renowned institutions. This will better allow AVA to keep abreast of emerging challenges in food safety, as well as new developments in international standards and regulations.
AVA will also have the opportunity to extend its technical expertise, comprehensive laboratory testing services, and training programmes to the region, and help our neighbouring countries enhance food safety. This would in turn benefit Singapore, as many of our food sources come from countries close by.
Keeping Singapore Free from Animal Diseases
Animal health is another key focus area for AVA. Our integrated animal health programme involves licensing, import regulation, local surveillance, and world-class laboratory testing capabilities. As a result, Singapore has remained free from many important animal diseases such as Rabies, Foot-and-Mouth Disease, and African Swine Fever.
In addition, OIE certified Singapore as being free of two animal diseases – Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) in May 2014.
CBBP and PPR are two significant, highly contagious viral diseases affecting cattle, sheep, and goats in the region, where outbreaks have re-emerged. Similar to several major animal diseases, CBBP and PPR can have a devastating impact on the livestock industry. Although Singapore does not have a large livestock industry, we have a significant transhipment and re-export market for animals.
Besides affecting animals, some diseases are also zoonotic, meaning they pose the risk of transmission to humans. This is why AVA places great emphasis on animal disease freedom and puts in place many levels of safeguards to prevent these diseases from entering our shores.