In May 1994, the World Assembly of Delegates of the OIE requested the Foot and Mouth Disease and Other Epizootics Commission (re-named later as Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases) to develop a procedure for the official recognition by the OIE of the foot and mouth disease (FMD) free status of Member Countries. The procedure has since then been expanded to include the official recognition of disease status for African horse sickness (AHS), contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) risk status as well as the endorsement of official control programmes for FMD.
The official recognition of disease status of Member Countries is of great significance for international trade and constitutes one of the most important legal links between the OIE and World Trade Organization (WTO), in the framework of the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), which entered into force in 1995. In 1998, the official agreement between WTO and the OIE further confirmed the OIE’s mandate to recognise disease-and pest-free areas based on the SPS Agreement.
A country may either lose or enhance its commercial attractiveness in the eyes of potential or existing importing partners, depending on official recognition of its disease status. By acquiring and maintaining its official status, a country also demonstrates transparency and helps to promote animal health and public health worldwide, thereby gaining the trust of its partners and of the international community.
Granting, suspension and recovery of official disease status are handled in an objective and transparent manner, governed by the Standard Operating Procedures.
Download the Standard Operating Procedures 2012.