Name: World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

Former Name – Offices Internationales des Epizootes (OIE)

Type of organization: Intergovernmental and International Organization

Date Established: January 25th, 1924

Headquarters: Paris, France

Total number of Member States: 182 countries


History and Introduction

The OIE is an acronym for the Office International des Epizooties which is now known as World Organisation for Animal Health. The organization was established on January 25th, 1924 as an international agreement that presently has 182 member states from respective countries. Except for a few instances, most of the country representatives during the OIE General Session of the International Committee are veterinarians. These representatives are required to be technically competent to ensure active participation in decision-making and discussions at meetings. The name change was effected in May 2003 but the historical acronym – OIE – was retained. Official languages are English, French, and Spanish and the headquarters of the organization is located in Paris.

As hinted by its name, the organization is focused on animal health and zoonoses control. This includes promoting animal health and welfare, prevention and control of animal and zoonotic diseases, promotion of veterinary services, and food safety among others. Although the organization is subjected to the authority and regulation of the World Assembly of Delegates, its daily activities are managed from the headquarters in Paris under the leadership of the Director-General (who is usually elected by the World Assembly of Delegates).

Responsibilities and Functions

The organization is responsible for animal health improvement globally by:

  1. Informing governments of animal diseases, their occurrence, status and suggest control measures.
  2. Coordinating and promoting research on control and surveillance of animal disease
  3. Maintenance of working relations with other international organizations
  4. Regulation and harmonizing trade involving animals and animal products amongst member states. This is accomplished via published manuals such as the International Animal Health Code, the Manual of Standards for Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Land animals, and the equivalent documents for animals found in water bodies.


The highest authority of the OIE is the World Assembly Delegates. The functions of the assembly are to adopt international standards in the field of animal health, especially as regards the international trade and adoption of resolutions made for the control of major animal diseases. The OIE also elects members of the governing bodies of the OIE which include the President and Vice-President of the Assembly, members of the Council and of the Regional Commissions and members for the Specialist Commissions. Furthermore, the OIE appoints the Director-General, examines and approves the annual report, financial report and the annual budgets of the organization.

The organization functions under the authority and control of the International Committee which is created by permanent delegates designated by the representatives of member states, each of whom has one vote contribution to relevant matters.

The organization has representations in most global regions including Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. The purpose of these representations is to strengthen the global efforts towards animal diseases control and surveillance.

International Relationships

The OIE has working relations with intergovernmental and international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), World Health Organization (WHO), World Veterinary Association (WVA), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), International Embryo Transfer Society, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); Organismo Inter-Regional de Salud Animal (OIRSA) and International Equestrian Federation; European Federation of Animal Health amongst others.

Compiled by Onaopemipo Fabunmi


Sources – Wikipedia, D Gochez. et.al 2019, OIE


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