- The need to fight animal diseases at global level led to the creation of the Office International des Epizooties through the international Agreement signed on January 25th 1924. In May 2003 the Office became the World Organisation for Animal Health but kept its historical acronym OIE.
- The OIE is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.
- It is recognised as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in 2017 has a total of 181 Member Countries. The OIE maintains permanent relations with 71 other international and regional organisations and has Regional and sub-regional Offices on every continent.
Founded in 1924, the OIE has six main missions:
- To ensure transparency in the global animal disease situation
- To collect, analyse and disseminate veterinary scientific information
- To provide expertise and encourage international solidarity in the control of animal diseases
- Within its mandate under the WTO SPS Agreement, to safeguard world trade by publishing health standards for international trade in animals and animal products
- To improve the legal framework and resources of national Veterinary Services
- To provide a better guarantee of food of animal origin and to promote animal welfare through a science-based approach
These missions are achieved through different activities including the establishment of standards, guidelines and recommendations pertaining to animal health. Examples of the OIE work in this area include the following:
- International Animal Health Code (for mammals, birds and bees)
- International Aquatic Animal Health Code (for fish, molluscs and crustaceans), and Manual for Aquatic Animal Diseases
- Manual of Standards for Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines