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 ad hoc groups

The OIE develops standards through the work of expert ad hoc groups 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 Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission (the Code Commission) and the Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission. These commissions meet annually in February and September and their 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:


Animal Welfare Working Group

Since their establishment in 2002,  the Animal Welfare Working Group provided significant advice to the OIE Director General, in particular, in contributing to the development of the OIE animal welfare standards.

Now, as part of the work to ensure that the organisation’s roadmap is in line with the 6th Strategic Plan, and also taking into consideration that the activities of the OIE in animal welfare are now well integrated into the work of the OIE, at the 85th General Sessin, the General Assembly of Delegates, through the adoption of the Resolution No. 33 , decided not to renew the mandate for the Animal Welfare Working Group. The development and maintenance of OIE standards for animal welfare will continue to be managed by the Code and Aquatic Commissions.

The OIE will remain grateful to all the experts who participated in this working group  for their continuous support in the development and implementation of the OIE animal welfare standards through this 15 year of productive work.

The reports of the meeting of the Animal Welfare Working Group will remain available here.