Rosselkhoznadzor regretfully informs that on August 3, 2002,
passed away Nikola Tanev Belev, a notorious researcher, who, at different stages
of his life, held high positions in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
of Bulgaria and was a Honored President of the Regional Commission of the World
Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for Europe and first OIE Regional Representative
for Eastern Europe.
Development of the Veterinary Service of Bulgaria and its
achievements are closely associated with Nikola Belev. For 13 years he was the Head
of the National Veterinary Service of Bulgaria and promoted consolidation of
its credibility both on the national and international levels. His name is much
appreciated all over the world owing to his great achievements and contribution
to the global animal health control.
Nikola Tanev Belev graduated from the Higher Institute of
Zootechnics and Veterinary Medicine in Stara Zagora (Bulgaria). From 1971, he worked in the Veterinary Institute of the
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
In late 1970-s, Nikola Belev initiated and later headed the State Scientific
Association “Veterinary Business” under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and
Forestry of Bulgaria, which was commended by the global veterinary professional
For over 10 years Nikola Belev headed the National Veterinary
Service of Bulgaria. OIE highly appreciated his contribution to the protection
of animal health and food safety in Bulgaria from the effects of Chernobyl disaster
that happened in April, 1986.
Being the Head of the Veterinary Service, Nikola Belev contributed
to the disease freedom maintenance in the country and to the effective animal
disease prevention against the background of the precarious situation in the
Near East and Balkans in the late 80-s that significantly affected active
animal movements in the region.
He also made a substantial contribution to the control of Rift Valley
fever – a viral zoonosis that mostly infects animals but is also capable of
From 1972, Dr. Belev was a permanent Delegate of Bulgaria to
the OIE, in 1988 he was appointed a member of the Administrative Commission and
President of the OIE Regional Commission for Europe, and in 1991 - the OIE
Regional Representative for Eastern Europe. During the OIE General Session in
May 2012, taking into account his great achievements, Professor Belev was
elected Honorary President of the OIE Regional Commission for Europe. Contribution
of Prof. Belev to the development and approval of the OIE image in the world
community is huge.
As the OIE Regional Representative for Eastern Europe, he
promoted the idea of closer cooperation between Eastern European and Western
countries, as well as between the OIE, EU, FAO, WTO, World Bank and other
Throughout his career, Nikola Belev actively developed the
interaction between the OIE and Russia.
In May 1999, Nikola Belev was awarded the Gold Medal for outstanding
services to international veterinary science, the OIE highest distinction. The
French government honored him with the insignia of chevalier of the
national order (Officier de L'ordre du merite Agricole, 2007) for his
professional qualities and contribution to the development of agriculture and
veterinary science in France. Nikola Belev was elected a Foreign Member of the
Russian Academy of Agriculture (1997), the Serbian Veterinary Academy (2004)
and the Ukrainian Academy of Agriculture (2005).
For many years the Rosselkhoznadzor actively cooperated with
Nikola Belev on a wide range of issues related to veterinary medicine, animal
health and welfare.
The Service has great respect for the Professor's achievements
in the world veterinary medicine and expresses its deep condolences to the
family and friends of Nikola Belev.