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IRTA-CReSA designated as a World Organization for Animal Health collaborating and reference center

As of 26 May 2017, during the General Assembly of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Animal Health Research Center (IRTA-CReSA) has been designated as a Collaborating Center of the OIE for “Research and control of emerging and re-emerging pig diseases in Europe“, with Dr. Joaquim Segalés as a point of contact, as well as the OIE Reference Center for Classical Swine Fever, with Dr. Llilianne Ganges as the designated expert.

This is the first time that the OIE designates a research center in Spain as OIE Collaborating Center. This global organization defines collaborating centers as expert centers in a specific field of competence related to general issues of animal health, particularly in relation to emerging and re-emerging diseases in pigs in the case of IRTA-CReSA. This means that, within its competence, IRTA-CReSA can provide advice following the international mandate and rules of procedure of the OIE Collaborating Centers.

Moreover, the OIE Reference Centers are designated in order to explore issues related to a particular disease. It is considered that the OIE expert, accountable to its member countries in relation to these matters (classical swine fever in the case of IRTA-CReSA), must be able to provide scientific and technical assistance as well as advice on issues related to diagnosis and control of the disease for which one is reference. It also means that as Reference Laboratory should be able to provide scientific and technical training to personnel from other OIE member countries and coordinate scientific and technical studies in collaboration with other laboratories and organizations.

This designation has been possible thanks to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (MAPAMA) who has been responsible for nominating IRTA-CReSA, represented by Valentín Almansa (Director General of Health of the Agricultural Production), Ms. Beatriz Muñoz (Deputy Director General for Animal Health and Hygiene and traceability) and Mr. Gregorio Torres (CEO of Scientific and Technical Department of the OIE, appointed by MAPAMA). IRTA-CReSA wants to show its gratitude, as well as to the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food (DARP) of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia), which has always shown its unconditional support to IRTA-CReSA’s initiative to join the network of OIE Centers.