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Home > Animal health in the World > Official disease status > Official recognition policy and procedures

Official recognition of disease status

In May 1994, the World Assembly of Delegates of the OIE requested the Foot and Mouth Disease and Other Epizootics Commission (re-named later as Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases) to develop a procedure for the official recognition by the OIE of the foot and mouth disease (FMD) free status of Members. The procedure has since then been expanded to include the official recognition of disease status for African horse sickness (AHS), classical swine fever (CSF), contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) risk status as well as the endorsement of official control programmes for CBPP, FMD, PPR and dog-mediated rabies.

The official recognition of disease status of Members is of great significance for international trade and constitutes one of the most important legal links between the OIE and World Trade Organization (WTO), in the framework of the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), which entered into force in 1995. In 1998, the official agreement between WTO and the OIE further confirmed the OIE’s mandate to recognise disease-and pest-free areas based on the SPS Agreement.

A Member may either lose or enhance its commercial attractiveness in the eyes of potential or existing importing partners, depending on official recognition of its disease status. By acquiring and maintaining its official status, a Member also demonstrates transparency and helps to promote animal health and public health worldwide, thereby gaining the trust of its partners and of the international community.

Granting, suspension and recovery of official disease status are handled in an objective and transparent manner, governed by the Standard Operating Procedures.

Download the Standard Operating Procedure:

Official recognition process provides detailed guidelines for the standards in the disease specific chapters. The guidelines for Memberson how to compile documented evidence that supports demonstration of compliance with the requirements on the official status recognition and endorsement of an official control programme described in the Terrestrial Code: