World Organisation for Animal Health

Font size:

Language :

Search:

Advanced search

Home > About us > Key texts > Basic texts

NEW MANDATES

RESOLUTION No. XIV

Adopted by the International Committee of the OIE on 29 May 2002

Animal Welfare Mandate of the OIE

CONSIDERING THAT

At the 68th General Session in May 2000 the International Committee examined and approved the OIE Third Strategic Plan,

At the 69th General Session in May 2001 the International Committee adopted the Director-General's Work Programme to implement the recommendations of the Third Strategic Plan for the period 2001-2005. The Work Programme indicated that new areas identified in the Third Strategic Plan would be given special attention,

An OIE Ad hoc Group on Animal Welfare met from 2 to 4 April 2002 and drafted recommendations for the consideration of the International Committee concerning the scope of OIE involvement in the area of animal welfare, priorities for the OIE and a modus operandi,

This Ad hoc Group noted the OIE's 75-year history of achievement as the international reference organisation for animal health with an established infrastructure and international recognition. Recognising the essential link between animal health and animal welfare, the Ad hoc Group believed that the OIE was well placed to provide international leadership on animal welfare,

THE COMMITTEE

RECOMMENDS THAT

1.  As animal welfare is a complex, multi-faceted public policy issue that includes important scientific, ethical, economic and political dimensions, the OIE develop a detailed vision and strategy to incorporate, balance and take account of these dimensions.

2.  The OIE then develop policies and guiding principles to provide a sound foundation from which to elaborate specific recommendations and standards.

3.  The OIE establish a Working Group on Animal Welfare to coordinate and manage animal welfare activities in accordance with the tasks listed below, and the Working Group advise on specific tasks to be carried out by Ad hoc Groups.

4.  In consultation with the OIE, the Working Group develop a detailed operational plan for the initial 12 months, addressing the priority issues identified.

5.  The Working Group and its Ad hoc Groups consult with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) having a broad international representation and make use of all available expertise and resources, including those from academia, the research community, industry and other relevant stakeholders.

6.  The scope of OIE involvement in animal welfare issues be grouped into the following:

  • animals used in agriculture and aquaculture for production, breeding and/or working purposes,
  • companion animals including 'exotic' (wild-caught and 'non-traditional') species,
  • animals used for research, testing and/or teaching purposes,
  • free-living wildlife, including the issues of their slaughter and trapping,
  • animals used for sport, recreation and entertainment, including in circuses and zoos,

and that, for each group, in addition to essential animal health considerations, the topics of housing, management, transportation and killing (including humane slaughter, euthanasia and killing for disease control) be addressed.

7.  The OIE give priority to animal welfare issues regarding animals used in agriculture and aquaculture and, regarding the other groups identified, the OIE establish relative priorities to be dealt with as resources permit.

8.  Within the agriculture and aquaculture group, the OIE firstly address transportation, humane slaughter, and killing for disease control, and, later, housing and management. The OIE also consider the animal welfare aspects as issues arise in the areas of genetic modification and cloning, genetic selection for production and fashion, and veterinary practices.

9.  When addressing zoonoses, the OIE give priority to addressing the animal welfare aspects of animal population reduction and control policies (including stray dogs and cats).

10.  The OIE incorporate within its communication strategy key animal welfare stakeholders, including industry and NGOs.

11.  The OIE incorporate animal welfare considerations within its major functions and assume the following specific roles and functions:

  • development of standards and guidelines leading to good animal welfare practice,
  • provision of expert advice on specific animal welfare issues to OIE stakeholder groups, including Member Countries, other international organisations and industry/consumers,
  • maintenance of international databases on animal welfare information, including different national legislations and policies, internationally recognised animal welfare experts, and relevant examples of good animal welfare practice,
  • identification of the essential elements of an effective national infrastructure for animal welfare, including legislation/legal tools and the development of a self-assessment check list,
  • preparation and circulation of educational material to enhance awareness among OIE stakeholders,
  • promotion of the inclusion of animal welfare in undergraduate and post-graduate veterinary curricula,
  •  identification of animal welfare research needs and encouragement of collaboration among centres of research.

RESOLUTION No. XV

Adopted by the International Committee of the OIE on 30 May 2002

Food Safety Mandate of the OIE

CONSIDERING THAT

At the 68th General Session in May 2000 the International Committee examined and approved the OIE Third Strategic Plan,

At the 69th General Session in May 2001 the International Committee adopted the Director-General's Work Programme to implement the recommendations of the Third Strategic Plan for the period 2001-2005. The Work Programme indicated that new areas identified in the Third Strategic Plan would be given special attention,

The large majority of OIE Member countries favour co-ordination and integration of the food safety activities of the OIE and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), and their cooperation in capacity building activities. Many Member countries are strengthening both institutional structures and regulatory frameworks, and incorporating 'shared responsibility' for food safety that leads to a much greater co-ordination within national authorities,

An OIE Ad hoc Group on Food Safety met from 18 to 19 April 2002 and drafted recommendations for the consideration of the International Committee concerning the scope of OIE involvement, priorities for the OIE and a modus operandi, and on ways the OIE could work more effectively with the CAC,

The Ad hoc Group believed that a clear definition of the OIE's role in food safety, and the coordination and integration of the food safety activities of the OIE and the CAC would enhance the scope and scientific quality of international standards, guidelines and related texts, facilitate risk-based approaches, and genuinely address the 'production-to-consumption' exposure pathway for food-borne hazards,

THE COMMITTEE

RECOMMENDS THAT

1.  The OIE's goal regarding animal production food safety be to reduce food-borne risks to human health due to hazards (a biological, chemical or physical agent in, or a condition of, food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect) arising from animals, in collaboration with appropriate international agencies.

2. The OIE establish and/or strengthen both formal and informal relationships with relevant international agencies, particularly FAO and WHO and their subsidiary bodies (including CAC) and relevant expert groups, regarding animal production food safety.

3.  The OIE's strategy to achieve this goal include:

  • developing appropriate infrastructure (including a permanent Working Group on Food Safety) and providing resources,
  • establishing criteria for work priorities,
  • ensuring pre-slaughter animal production food safety considerations are appropriately addressed in OIE activities,
  • reviewing, developing and/or contributing to international food safety standards and guidelines incorporating good animal production practice (including veterinary aspects) as it relates to food safety and taking into account a risk-based 'production-to-consumption' approach,
  • coordinating activities on horizontal issues (such as equivalence and risk analysis) with relevant international agencies and ensuring consistency in approaches and outcomes,
  • providing technical assistance and capacity building to developing countries, in collaboration with relevant international agencies,
  • harmonising, as appropriate, animal and relevant public health diagnostic and analytical methods,
  • ensuring transparency and appropriate consultation,
  • exploring and establishing to the extent possible the shared use of animal and public health information systems for food safety hazards, particularly by making use of data from ante- and post-mortem inspection at abattoirs.

4.  The Director-General of the OIE establish a permanent Working Group on Food Safety to coordinate and advise on OIE pre-slaughter animal production food safety activities, with multidisciplinary membership and balanced regional representation, and with special consideration given to the needs of developing countries.

5.  The terms of reference for the Working Group include:

  • consideration of all food-borne hazards arising from animals before slaughter,
  • a primary focus on food safety measures applicable at the farm level,
  • consideration of food safety measures applicable elsewhere, for example during animal transport and harvesting of wild animals for food,
  • work criteria and priorities that take into account global food safety priorities and current work programmes of relevant international organisations, especially the CAC,
  • the taking into account of the food safety standards developed and under development by relevant international organisations, especially the CAC,
  • support for the work of the OIE Specialist Commissions on pre-slaughter animal production food safety,
  • advising the Director-General of the OIE on the implementation of the OIE strategy regarding:
  • establishing Ad hoc Groups to address specific tasks,
  • linking at the working level with the CAC, FAO and WHO,
  • ensuring pre-slaughter animal production food safety is integrated in Specialist Commissions' and Ad hoc Groups' activities,
  • providing technical input into the review of OIE disease notification criteria,
  • enhancing communications, information sharing and consultation.

RESOLUTION No. XXX

Adopted by the International Committee of the OIE on 27 May 2004

Animal identification and traceability

CONSIDERING THAT

1. Animal identification and traceability are key tools in the sphere of animal and public health, and trade,

2. Although Member Countries have a variety of systems of animal identification and traceability in operation or under development, which have emerged in response to local and international demand, there are no international standards and guidelines and this has led to divergences that may affect international trade and the quality of disease information,

3. Legislation, standardisation and information exchanges between databases is very important,

THE COMMITTEE

RESOLVES THAT

1. The OIE, in close collaboration with the Codex Alimentarius Commission should determine a common definition for animal traceability and propose guidelines for the development of identification and traceability systems that are appropriate for the risk involved to attain the desired outcomes.

2. The OIE should disseminate updated information on animal identification and traceability, including the latest advances in the field.

3. The OIE, in collaboration with other international organisations, should provide Member Countries with specialised technical assistance, to facilitate the design and implementation of animal identification and traceability systems.

4. The OIE should define criteria for establishing work priorities, also taking into account the needs of developing countries.

RESOLUTION No. XXII

Adopted by the International Committee of the OIE on 30 May 2002

The Role of Veterinarians in the Prevention
and Management of Food-Borne Diseases,
in particular at the Level of Livestock Producers

CONSIDERING THAT

There is a need to broaden the historical view that veterinarians (and the OIE) should only be concerned with zoonoses that cause disease in animals

In implementing a risk-based ?production-to-consumption' approach to food safety when developing standards and guidelines, it is necessary to focus on human health outcomes and the control of risks, rather than be limited to the control of hazards at the level of livestock production

The large majority of OIE Member Countries favour co-ordination and integration of the food safety activities of the OIE and Codex (and its parent bodies, namely: the FAO and WHO). Many Member Countries are strengthening both institutional structures and regulatory frameworks and incorporating 'shared responsibility' for food safety that leads to much greater co-ordination within national authorities and operation across legislative boundaries

It is clear that veterinarians involved in making risk-based decisions will increasingly have to work within multidisciplinary teams. Consumer expectations in terms of food safety and acceptability are demanding high levels of transparency and communication in all aspects of contemporary management of food-borne risks. Input from a wide range of interested parties in the development of standards and guidelines is expected

Many countries stated that OIE and Codex should work together in capacity building and harmonisation of all aspects of risk analysis, and provide joint technical training on food safety to developing countries

Many national programmes applied at the level of livestock production have limitations in terms of the information available to assist risk managers in making decisions on animal production food safety

The OIE has established extensive information systems for animal health reporting from Member Countries. These systems provide the potential for development of targeted monitoring programmes for biological hazards of food safety importance at the level of livestock production

There is a need for a Working Group to co-ordinate and manage OIE animal production food safety activities.

THE COMMITTEE

RECOMMENDS THAT

1.Veterinary Administrations of Member Countries and the OIE:

a)  provide a focus on animal production food safety and have a goal of 'reducing food borne risks to human health by preventing, eliminating or controlling hazards arising from animals prior to primary processing of animals and animal products'

b)  establish and/or strengthen, if necessary, relationships with other relevant national authorities so as to provide a significantly increased contribution to animal production food safety

c)  in elaborating standards and guidelines associated with animal production food safety, ensure consultation and transparency needs are met and multidisciplinary teams are used to ensure the necessary expertise is sought.

2.  All involvement ofVeterinary Administrations and the OIE, in the establishment of food safety standards, guidelines and related texts applied before primary processing of animals and animal products, should take into account a generic framework for managing risks, and hazard exposure modelling throughout the food chain.

3.  The OIE and Codex (and its parent bodies, namely: the FAO and WHO) jointly increase their efforts to build and/or enhance food safety, particularly in developing countries, and facilitate their exports of food, in accordance with WTO provisions.

4.  The OIE explore and establish to the extent possible the shared use of animal and public health information systems for food safety hazards.

5.  The OIE establish a permanent multidisciplinary Working Group to act as a steering committee to co-ordinate, prioritise and advise on OIE animal production food safety activities.

RESOLUTION No. XXVII

Adopted by the International Committee of the OIE on 26 May 2005

Implementation of OIE Standards in the Framework of the SPS Agreement

CONSIDERING

Participation in the international and regional trade in animals and animal products offers opportunities for all Member Countries of the OIE,

Compliance with and the maintenance of international sanitary standards for the trade in animals and animal products are major constraints for many Member Countries to successfully participate in international and regional trade in animals and animal products,

International standards, guidelines and recommendations of the OIE and the SPS Agreement facilitate access to the international trade market for animals and animal products,

New concepts to facilitate the trade in animals and animal products following technological developments in veterinary science are continuously evaluated and updated by the OIE,

The Veterinary Services of many importing and exporting countries do not yet have a system of export certification and import procedures that complies with international standards,

Standards regarding the quality and evaluation of Veterinary Services have been developed by the OIE in order to among other things strengthen the credibility of export certification procedures established by the national Veterinary Services of OIE Member Countries,

OIE international sanitary standards may be used even by non-exporting OIE Member Countries as relevant guidelines to improve their national animal health status,

The Directors General of the OIE, FAO, WTO, WHO and World Bank have expressed the commitment of their organisations in a combined declaration at the Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Doha, Qatar in November 2001, to strengthen the capacity of Member Countries and especially developing countries, in meeting SPS standards.

THE COMMITTEE

RESOLVES THAT

1.  The OIE, in collaboration with other international organisations, facilitate the capacity building and regional training of officials, including veterinarians, to actively participate in the development, evaluation and implementation of OIE standards including the application of international certification standards for trade in animals and animal products, and of compartmentalisation and zoning.

2.  The Director General of the OIE request the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission to continue with their efforts to establish a uniform format for developing standardised Chapters and Appendices for theTerrestrial Animal Health Code to facilitate a common and uniform understanding and implementation of standards to enhance country participation.

3.  The Director General of the OIE request the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission to continue to take into account the needs and specific circumstances in Developing Countries in the development of standards.

4.  The Director General of the OIE request the relevant Commissions to consider when possible the inclusion in each disease chapter of the relevantCodes to describe risk mitigation procedures that can be applied to specific animal products to render them safe for trade and to also list in each disease Chapter those products that can be traded without restriction for that given disease.

5.  The OIE request the WTO to consider observer status for relevant regional organisations for representation of countries that do not have the capacity or expertise to ensure continuity of representation at the SPS Committee meetings of the WTO.

6.  The OIE will work with the WTO to study how to take into account the guidelines, recommendations and standards developed and provided by the OIE on animal welfare. The outcome of these discussions will be reported for assessment to the International Committee.

7.  The OIE, in collaboration with relevant partners, consider support methods for the evaluation ofVeterinary Services and the establishment of an independent audit system for Veterinary Services functioning under the auspices of the OIE, which could be used by Member Countries to evaluate the delivery of their Veterinary Services and to facilitate in the identification of their needs for compliance to OIE standards of quality and for relevant investments if requested.

RESOLUTION No. XXVIII

Adopted by the International Committee of the OIE on 26 May 2005

Applications of Genetic Engineering for Livestock and Biotechnology Products

CONSIDERING THAT

The development of animal health applications for biotechnology is accelerating at a rapid pace and has the potential for significant advances in animal and veterinary public health.

A survey of the OIE 167 Member Countries conducted in 2005 identified a number of potentially beneficial applications of biotechnology and noted the absence of uniform guidance or international standards for assessment.

Responses received from this survey of OIE Member Countries indicated broad consensus that comprehensive regulatory controls are required and that ethical issues and societal concerns will need to be addressed in order to ensure responsible introduction and social acceptance of these technologies.

The maximising of benefits and minimising of negative consequences are best achieved through transparency and an international engagement to ensure that science-based standards are developed to direct the application of emerging technologies and to protect animal and public health.

THE COMMITTEE

RESOLVES THAT

OIE continue to provide scientific advice and support to enable countries to develop harmonised technical standards for regulation of biotechnology-derived animal health products, and genetically modified production animals through:

  • The constitution of an Ad hoc Group on Biotechnology to support the work of OIE Specialist Commissions and related Working Groups.
  • Maintaining and expanding collaboration with other international organisations including, but not limited to, the FAO, WHO, VICH, and IETS.
  • Facilitating international collaboration among regulatory agencies.
  • The standardisation of the techniques of assessment of bioengineered animals or products and training Member Countries to conduct risk analysis through the recognition of international collaborating centre(s).

These objectives will be reached by the OIE taking into account the following priorities:

1.  Development and adoption of standards and guidelines for research on the use of live attenuated vaccines in animal health.

2.  Development of recommendations and guidelines for use of DNA vaccines.

3.  Development of guidelines and recommendations for the animal health risks linked with somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning.

4.  Develop objective criteria for assessing the health of embryos and production animals derived from cloning, and associated safety of cloned production animals and their products.

5.  Develop policy guidelines for exclusion of unapproved animals and products from the livestock population, and segregation from the feed and food supply.

6.  Develop identification, testing, and certification guidelines for international trade in production animals and their products for which biotechnology procedures have been employed.

7.  Development of guidelines relevant to the application of Nanoscience/Nanotechnology as it relates to animal health.

Top