By Azman Zakaria
Photos by Noor Azreen Awang
SERDANG, June 22 – Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in the field of Fish Pathology, Prof Dato’ Dr Mohamed Shariff Mohamed Din emerges as the first Malaysian to have been elected into the World Organization for Animal Health’s (OIE) Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission.
He was elected during OIE Annual General Conference held between May 24 and May 29 in Paris, France.
Prof Dato’ Dr Mohamed Shariff, 66, will sit on the Specialist Commission for a duration of three years, together with five other representatives from Australia, Canada, Chile, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.
OIE which was set up in 1924 is an inter-governmental organization with 180 members, and Paris as its head office. It is responsible in taking care of animals’ health worldwide and it is recognized as a referral organization by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Prof. Dato’ Dr Shariff is grateful that he was elected to sit on the commission due to stiff competition in the voting.
He envisions to execute his new responsibilities to the best of his ability as an example that success at an international level is within reach of all Malaysians.
“As the representative of this country and the region, I will be promoting the good image of Malaysia. I will render whatever assistance and contributions required to just any nations that need my services in relation to diseases which have been inflicting aquatic animals.”
“This is a recognition at a global level…a history for our country because this is the first time a Malaysian was elected as a member of the commission,” he said.
His vast experience in the field of aquatic animals’ health is recognized by several international agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Development Research Centre, Canada (IDRC), Network of Aquaculture Centre for Asia and the Pacific (NACA), Fish Health Section of the Asian Fisheries Society, and Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR).
He is formerly president of Asia Fisheries Association and founder of Malaysia Fisheries Association which was formed in 1987.
Meanwhile, UPM Veterinary Medicine Faculty Dean Prof Dr Mohd Hair Bejo has described Prof Dato’ Dr Shariff’s appointment as a boost to the nation.
“Currently, we have a representative in OIE who can give his ideas in implementing the direction and policy in animal health care worldwide. With his appointment, the international community will understand better the expertise that Malaysians have,” he said.
The faculty wishes to extend its congratulations and gratitude to former Malaysia Veterinary Services Department director, Dato’ Dr Muhamad Azmie Zakaria, and acting director, Dr Kamarudin Md Isa, for their support. – UPM
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