Standards

INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

In the current trend of globalisation, animal health measures have increasing importance to facilitate safe international trade of animals and animal products while avoiding unnecessary impediments to trade. In light of this, the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) encourages the members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to base their sanitary measures on international standards, guidelines and recommendations, where they exist. The OIE is the WTO reference organisation for standards relating to animal health and zoonoses.

The OIE International Standards consist of the Aquatic Animal Health Code, the Terrestrial Animal Health Code, the Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals and the Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals. The standards are based on the most recent scientific and technical information.

The Aquatic Animal Health Code, introduced in 1995, provides standards for the improvement of aquatic animal health and welfare worldwide. These standards should be used by Aquatic Animal Health Services to set up measures for the prevention, early detection, reporting and control of pathogenic agents in aquatic animals (amphibians, crustaceans, fish and molluscs). Implementation of the recommendations in the Aquatic Code ensures the safety of international trade in aquatic animals and aquatic animal products.

The Terrestrial Animal Health Code, first published in 1968, provides standards for the improvement of terrestrial animal health and welfare and veterinary public health worldwide. These standards should be used by Veterinary Services to set up measures for the early detection, reporting and control of pathogenic agents, including zoonotic agents, and preventing their spread. Implementation of the recommendations in the Terrestrial Code protects animal health and welfare and ensures the safety of international trade in animals and animal products.

The Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals, first published in 1995, provides a standardised approach to the diagnosis of the diseases listed in the Aquatic Code, to contribute to the improvement of aquatic animal health worldwide and to facilitate health certification for trade in aquatic animals and aquatic animal products. A new edition is published every 4 years but any updated or new chapters adopted by the World Assembly in between publications are made available on the online version.

The Manual of Diagnostic Tests and vaccines for Terrestrial Animals, first published in 1989, provides a standardised approach to the diagnosis of the diseases listed in the Terrestrial Code, to contribute to the improvement of animal health worldwide, and to facilitate health certification for trade in animals and animal products. It also provides internationally agreed diagnostic laboratory methods and requirements for the production and control of vaccines and other biological products.

What are the OIE International Standards?
OIE International Standards: Protecting animals, preserving our future
OIE International Standards: The key to better terrestrial animal health and welfare
OIE International Standards: The key to better aquatic animal health and welfare

Follow the links below to access the Codes and Manuals online; to learn more about the Standards-setting process through which the OIE International Standards are developed and revised; and to discover the Observatory, which explores how the Standards are implemented by its Members.