Home > Implementation of the standards by OIE Member countries
Veterinary Services and the veterinary profession play a central role in the improvement of animal health and welfare and the OIE is constantly striving to help Member Countries to achieve progress in the implementation of the OIE’s standards through building technical and scientific capacities and the improvement of veterinary governance. To this end, the OIE has developed several capacity-building programmes for Member Countries. Support in the animal welfare domain includes specific training programmes for the animal welfare national focal points nominated by national Delegates, global animal welfare conferences, publications, and the development of regional strategies.
Starting with the Asia, Far East and Oceania region in 2012, the OIE through its Regional Representations has supported the development of Regional Animal Welfare Strategies (RAWS) as a means to support implementation of the OIE animal welfare standards by Member countries. The details vary from region to region but the overall objective of RAWS is to provide an agreed framework and guidance for countries, through the development of agreed Action Plans.
Information on the RAWS may be viewed by clicking on the following links:
This platform, created in 2013, aims to harmonise the application of OIE standards on animal welfare within the 53 countries in the European region. A first three-year action plan (2014–2016), focusing on the management of stray dog populations and conditions relating to the transport and slaughter of livestock, was adopted at the end of 2013 by the Platform’s Steering Committee.
The OIE encourages Member Countries to nominate a national Focal Point for Animal Welfare under the responsibility of the national Delegate to the OIE. The Focal Point helps the Delegate to fulfil his/her obligations as an OIE Member and provides assistance with the procedure for adopting or revising and implementing OIE standards on animal welfare. Focal Points are also responsible for establishing and maintaining a dialogue with the competent authority for animal welfare in the country (if not the Veterinary Authority) and for facilitating cooperation and communication among authorities where responsibilities are shared. They are required to actively participate in creating and updating national legislation on animal welfare, as well as ensuring that the legislation is correctly applied.
The OIE keeps national Focal Points informed about standards and organises regular training seminars for them in all regions of the world.
The IAWP began in June 2012 with the development of a strategy, action plan and a three year budget that was provided by the Australian Government. The purpose of this capacity-building programme is to improve the welfare of livestock intended for human consumption during their transport from Australia to countries in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions and slaughter in those countries. The programme provides workshops for key national players, including academics, industry representatives (mainly slaughterhouses), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders.
Since October 2012, more than 400 participants have taken part in ´Train the trainers´ workshops in Indonesia, the Philippines Turkey, Vietnam, Thailand, Jordan, Oman, Iran, Korea (Rep. of) and Israel. The goal is to facilitate cooperation between the newly trained trainers, veterinary educational establishments and industry.
A key output of the IAWP was the OIE training DVD on the welfare of cattle pre-slaughter and at slaughter (with and without stunning). Copies of the DVD have been given to trainers, OIE Focal Points for Animal Welfare and many NGOs.
English and Arabic versions available on request
The veterinary profession has a leadership role in animal welfare, due to the formal education and professional experience and ethics of veterinarians in the fields of animal health and behaviour (ethology). In the past, the veterinary curriculum did not always provide sufficient knowledge on animal welfare to newly graduating veterinarians. In some cases, ethology and other aspects of animal welfare were optional topics, while in other institutions there were insufficient veterinarians available to teach the animal welfare curriculum.
To raise awareness of the importance of quality education for veterinary professionals in all countries of the world the OIE has produced landmark guidance on veterinary educational requirements:
Animal welfare and ethology are included in the minimum requirements for veterinary education.
Animal welfare is a complex and multifaceted issue which involves scientific, ethical, economic, cultural, social, religious and political dimensions. The OIE is sensitive to the importance of religious requirements for animal handling and slaughter in some OIE Member countries. In 2012 the OIE published a Discussion paper on the requirements of Islamic law that relate to the humane handling of animals, including at transport and slaughter. The OIE provides this paper to facilitate discussion between the national Veterinary Authority and religious authorities with the objective of raising awareness of animal welfare and the steps that can be taken, consistent with Islamic Law, to reduce animal suffering.