BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, 28 October 2002: The IFAH (International Federation for Animal Health) Board of Directors today warmly accepted the request from the members of FEDESA (European Federation of Animal Health) to join their international organisation.
The move will mean the creation of a specific European-dedicated team within IFAH - IFAH-Europe - increasing focus for the members, maximising effective representation towards the authorities and thereby bringing added value for members and authorities alike.
The members of FEDESA - both national associations and company members - have been seeking a strategy that will ensure focus on key issues, will increase relationships at all levels and will make better use of resources. The new structure will achieve these strategic objectives, while at the same time securing leadership for European issues at a European level.
At an Extraordinary General Assembly on 24 October 2002 in Brussels, the members of FEDESA voted overwhelmingly to merge their activities with those of the international federation. This was a major element of the memberships strategy to improve the operational efficiency of the animal health industry representation on a European and an international basis. The IFAH Board of Directors has formally accepted the proposal from the FEDESA membership, confirmed Jean-Louis Delforge, Executive Director of IFAH. And the fact that the proposal to merge received 97% of the FEDESA members vote - from both national associations and company members alike - demonstrates that the animal health industry in Europe is fully confident that this is the right way forward, he continued.
One key step forward is the establishment of a dedicated European Council within IFAH, which will be responsible for setting the direction and advising on European issues in the context of the overall animal health industry priorities agreed with IFAH. This European leadership, combined with the increased support from IFAH will mean increased co-operation on common key issues - such as good safety and animal welfare - and therefore a more effective approach as a result, explained Delforge.
The European Council will comprise representation from the membership established in Europe - equally balanced between companies and associations - and will ensure that European decisions continue to be defined and led by European membership. The European Councils structure is aimed at maintaining leadership in European issues, while making the most of resources by using synergies and shared national and international experience, thereby strengthening representation and increasing, commented Delforge. The elected European Council members will be responsible for developing and implementing the industrys European strategy in the framework of the key issues, for overseeing progress and for managing required resources.
The new structure has clear advantages for all involved in the animal health industry, explained Bill Hird, member of the FEDESA Board of Directors. It will bring benefits for our association and company members who need increased effectiveness and focus, it will bring benefits for the authorities who need clear and comprehensive input from our industry, and it will bring increased balance between companies and national association members in the decision-making process. This is a win-win agreement for everyone, he explained.
The merger of FEDESA with IFAH will be completed by 1 January 2003. Contacts with the IFAH-Europe team will remain the same as with FEDESA, and the address and other contacting details remain unchanged during the transition period.