World Organisation for Animal Health

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An international network of expertise

The scientific basis of OIE animal welfare standards provides the foundation for consensus amongst OIE Member Countries and helps to support their adoption. Furthermore, the veterinary profession should take a lead role in the improvement of animal welfare because the education and experience of veterinarians in animal health and behaviour (ethology) are directly relevant to animal welfare.

Animal Welfare Working Group and animal welfare ad hoc groups

Animal Welfare Working Group – 2014/2015

To address all aspects of animal welfare, especially scientific issues, the OIE set up, and the World Assembly of Delegates of Member Countries approved, a permanent Working Group on Animal Welfare in 2002. Eight experts were selected on the basis of their scientific excellence and to represent the geographical and cultural diversity of the OIE. The group also includes a representative of the animal welfare NGO sector consortium, World Animal Protection, and representatives of the livestock production industries, from the global federations that represent producers of meat, egg and dairy products. With the objective of maintaining a balance of expertise, one of the three industry representatives participates as a full member and the others participate as observers, with a rotation each year.

The OIE develops standards through the work of expert ad hoc Groups and a Working Group that are convened to develop draft texts for the OIE Codes. Reports of ad hoc Groups on animal welfare are normally released to the public as annexes to reports of the The Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission (the Code Commission). The Code Commission meets annually in February and September and its reports (in English, French and Spanish) are published on the OIE website (normally in October and March).

OIE Collaborating Centres

OIE Collaborating Centres are national institutes recognised by the OIE for their expertise in a designated area of competence that relates to OIE topics. The mandate of the collaborating centres on animal welfare is ´to provide services relating to animal welfare, particularly within the OIE region, as a support to the implementation of OIE policies and, as required, to collaborate with OIE Reference Laboratories (see Our Scientific Expertise: dedicated chapter).

The OIE has designated four Animal Welfare Collaborating Centres or networks:

Collaborating Center on Animal Welfare and Livestock Production Systems

Collaborating Center on Animal Welfare Science and Bioethical Analysis

  •   Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre Massey University
  •   Animal Behaviour and Welfare Research Centre, Ruakura Research Centre
  •   Animal Welfare Science Centre, University of Melbourne
  •   Centre for Animal Ethics, University of Queensland
  •   CSIRO Livestock Industries, New South Wales

Veterinary Training, Epidemiology, Food Safety and Animal Welfare

  •   Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise "G. Caporale", Teramo (Italy)

Laboratory Animal Welfare and Science

  •   Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, National Academy of Sciences, Washington (USA)

Click on the map to access to the contact details of these collaborating centres on animal welfare: