His Excellency Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture launched the Aquatic Animal Diseases Network in the Middle East. It was held at the Ministry's headquarters in Riyadh in the presence of the Director General World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), Dr. Monique Eloit.
The network aims to strengthen the aquaculture industry and aquaculture production. It also aims to train veterinarians and aquatic health specialists.
The Fish Health & Safety Laboratory in Jeddah will serve as a reference laboratory for member states. The member states include countries bordering the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, UAE, and Yemen. The network seeks to prevent the spread of diseases in order to sustainably increase aquaculture production in the region and to coordinate the efforts of international organizations providing aquatic health services.
The Kingdom has several joint projects with the WOAH, including the Kingdom's program to combat rabies, foot-and-mouth disease, and peste des petits ruminitis, as well as a project to evaluate veterinary services. As a part of the WOAH's twinning program, veterinary laboratories in France and Italy are paired with reference laboratories.
WOAH works to improve animal health and welfare across the globe. By collecting, analysing and disseminating veterinary scientific information, we encourage international solidarity in the control of animal health risks. Furthermore, we work across borders to foster One Health approach, recognising that the health of animals, humans and the environment are interdependent.