Animal welfare was first identified as a priority in the OIE’s Third Strategic Plan 2001-2005. OIE Member Countries mandated the organisation to take the lead internationally on animal welfare and, as the international reference organisation for animal health, to elaborate standards and guidelines covering animal welfare practices, reaffirming that animal health is a key component of animal welfare.
From this perspective, the OIE is committed to improve the welfare of animals globally and to enhance the positive relationship between humans and animals.
To date, sixteen animal welfare chapters have been adopted by OIE Member Countries. However, implementation of the standards varies around the world. Experience tells us that to implement OIE standards within diverse cultural, economic and religious contexts a variety of tools are needed as well as balanced relationships with committed partners both from the public and private sectors.