OIE Members have a legal obligation to report their animal disease situation – including on zoonoses - in the most timely and transparent manner. In order to help Members fulfil this duty, the OIE developed the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS) and the World Animal Health Information Database (WAHID). This tool is a milestone in OIE efforts to improve the transparency, efficiency and speed with which global animal health information is disseminated throughout the world.

The disease notification system of the OIE, as the WHO one, is based on legally binding instruments. Withholding facts on the incidence of relevant diseases by the OIE would constitute a violation of its Organic Statutes.

For some aspects, WAHIS/WAHID can be compared to the International Health Regulations of the WHO.