The OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code (the Terrestrial Code) sets out standards for the improvement of animal health and welfare and veterinary public health worldwide, including through standards for safe international trade in terrestrial animals (mammals, reptiles, birds and bees) and their products. The health measures in the Terrestrial Code should be used by the Veterinary Authorities of importing and exporting countries to provide for early detection, reporting and control agents that are pathogenic to animals or humans, and to prevent their transfer via international trade in animals and animal products, while avoiding unjustified sanitary barriers to trade.
The health measures in the Terrestrial Code have been formally adopted by the World Assembly of the Delegates of the OIE Members. The 25th edition incorporates modifications to the Terrestrial Code agreed at the 84th OIE General Session in May 2016.
The 2016 edition includes an updated version of the table of contents, user's guide and glossary, and revised text in the following chapters: notification of diseases, infections and infestations, and provision of epidemiological information; criteria for the inclusion of diseases, infections and infestations in the OIE list; diseases, infections and infestations listed by the OIE; evaluation of Veterinary Services; monitoring of the quantities and usage patterns of antimicrobial agents used in food-producing animals; slaughter of animals; killing of animals for disease control purposes; animal welfare and broiler chicken production systems; animal welfare and dairy cattle production systems; infection with bluetongue virus; infection with epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus; infection with Rift Valley fever virus; infection with Trichinella spp.; infection with peste des petits ruminants virus; and infection with Taenia solium (porcine cysticercosis).
This edition includes a new chapter covering the welfare of working equids (7.12.).
Chapter 1.3. on prescribed and alternative diagnostic tests for OIE listed diseases has been deleted from this edition.
The development of these standards and recommendations is the result of the continuous work since 1960 of one of the OIE's Specialist Commissions, the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission. The first Terrestrial Code was published in 1968. This Commission draws upon the expertise of internationally renowned specialists to prepare draft texts for new articles of the Terrestrial Code or revise existing articles in the light of advances in veterinary science.
The value of the Terrestrial Code is twofold: that the measures published in it are the result of consensus among the veterinary authorities of OIE Members, and that it constitutes a reference within the World Trade Organization Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures as an international standard for animal health and zoonoses.
The OIE Terrestrial Code is a reference document for use by Veterinary Authorities, import/export services, epidemiologists and all those involved in international trade.
The Terrestrial Code is published annually in paper form in the three official OIE languages (English, French and Spanish), and in Russian. The contents of the 2016 version of the Terrestrial Code can be consulted in Web format.
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