France’s Soubeyran wins election as leader of global animal health organization

On Tuesday, May 29, 2024, Emmanuelle Soubeyran, the head of France’s veterinary services, was elected as the director general of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). She succeeds her compatriot Monique Eloit at a critical time when avian influenza is spreading not only to birds but also to mammals.

Soubeyran has led France’s bird flu vaccination program for poultry, making her well-versed with the virus. Before her election, she expressed her goals of strengthening collaborations with international organizations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations’ FAO. Recent crises have underscored the interconnectedness of animal and human health, highlighting the need for closer ties between these sectors.

As director general of WOAH, Soubeyran plans to enhance partnerships with other organizations while promoting private funding alongside public contributions to combat animal diseases and support research efforts. Her election comes at a crucial time when the world is grappling with the implications of animal diseases on global health and the environment.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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