Founded in 1946 and composed of six members, the Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases (Scientific Commission) assists in identifying the most appropriate strategies and measures for disease prevention and control. It also has the responsibility to examine voluntary requests from OIE Members regarding their disease-specific animal health status, if a Member wishes to be included in the OIE official list of Members with a recognised diseases status for certain diseases (see OIE 'Disease-free' status and 'Disease-free' recognition procedures). The Commission is elected by the World Assembly of Delegates for a three year term.
Taking into account the periodic Strategic Plans adopted by the Assembly, pertinent Resolutions of the Assembly and the annual work plans approved by the Assembly, the terms of reference of the OIE Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases shall be:
1. To maintain and exchange information on all aspects of terrestrial animal diseases, and to assess recent developments in the practical problems of control and eradication of infectious diseases and the impact of these developments.
2. To provide scientific guidance to the OIE on the development of policies relating to the assessment and control of diseases, notably those with the potential to affect trade in terrestrial animals and their products or affect human health.
3. To assist the Director General in improving the collection, use and interpretation of statistical information on terrestrial animal diseases, including emerging diseases, for the benefit of OIE Member Countries.
4. To provide up-to-date scientific information to the Director General and the other OIE Specialist Commissions, gathered through its own resources or in consultation with scientists, experts and Ad hoc Groups.
5. To advise and assist the Director General on problems relating to such diseases, including problems of disease control at the regional and global level.
6. To propose procedures for formally recognising the animal health status of OIE Member Countries.
7. To undertake, on behalf of the Assembly, an assessment of applications by OIE Member Countries on the status of compliance with OIE standards for animal health status.
8. To identify issues that require in-depth review and propose, to the Director General, the composition and terms of reference of experts or Ad hoc Groups of experts convened specifically to study such issues, and if necessary, to participate in the work of these Groups.
9. To advise the Director General on the composition and the activities of the Working Group on Wildlife Diseases and to coordinate its work.
10. To examine applications from Member Countries relating to the creation of new OIE Reference Centres with activities corresponding to the Commission's scientific terms of reference and report its findings to the Director General.
11. To provide, on request of the Director General, technical advice on proposals for the twinning of Reference Centres under Cooperative Capacity Building (“Twinning”) Agreements.
12. To advise the Director General on the status of the lists of the OIE experts and Reference Centres.
13. To reply to relevant queries relating to the methods for the control of terrestrial animal diseases.
14. To represent the OIE at scientific and specialised conferences upon the request of the Director General.
15. To work closely with the “Code Commission” to harmonize the standards, guidelines and other draft texts submitted to the Assembly for adoption.
The members of the Commission shall be specialists internationally recognised in a field relevant to the control of infectious diseases of animals and shall have appropriate experience in animal disease control.
The members of the Commission should have a Curriculum Vitae and scientific publication record appropriate to an international specialist in a field or fields relevant to the control of infectious diseases of animals.