The multi-regional Whole Journey Scenario (WJS) workshop on long-distance transport by land and sea between Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa was held on 8-10 November 2022 in Cairo, Egypt.
The workshop was built upon routes with similar transportation challenges identified through previous workshops and through the requests received from Members who transport live animals from Europe to the Middle East and North Africa. Representatives from 17 WOAH Members participated in the meeting, namely: France, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, and Spain from Europe; Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, and the United Arab Emirates from the Middle East; and Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia from North Africa.
The workshop’s main objectives were to help countries improve animal welfare during long-distance and cross-border transport in compliance with WOAH standards for the whole journey along the selected route with a focus on the responsibilities of the Competent Authorities over the entire journey. In addition, the workshop aimed to share best practices and strengthen collaboration and communication between Competent Authorities. Moreover, the workshop provided the opportunity to deepen Members’ understanding of the level of compliance with animal welfare standards and identify key issues, constraints, and/or challenges experienced while implementing these standards. The workshop highlighted the need for enhancing and strengthening communication and cooperation between Competent Authorities and all actors involved in transporting live animals, the importance of well-defined responsibilities, and appropriate planning and establishing emergency procedures.
The participants called for further WOAH activities supporting and strengthening the collaboration between Competent Authorities, inter-regional cooperation, and sharing the experiences (workshops, training, development of IT tools, guidance documents, and checklist, harmonization of the exchanges of information on transport animals).
Session 1: Setting the scene
WOAH and WOAH mandate on animal welfare, regional Platforms and strategies – Tomasz Grudnik (SRR Office in Brussels)
Middle East Regional strategy for Animal Welfare 2022 – 2025 – Y. Ghazi (RR for the Middle East)
Session 2: Understanding the countries’ situation and identifying key challenges
Countries presentations (overview of the state of play – legislation, implementation of the WOAH standards and main challenges)
Session 3: Addressing the challenges and best practises
Integrated journey plan – Spain
Session 4: Movement of competition horses
WOAH and International Horse Sports Confederation collaboration activities to facilitate the movement of competition horses – M. Meske (WOAH – Status Department)
United Arab Emirates – Equine File Management – A. Zahran (UAE)
Movement of Competition Horses – UAE perspective D. Craig (Emirates Racing Authority)