World Organisation for Animal Health

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Veterinary legislation

Veterinary legislation is an essential element of the national infrastructure that enables Veterinary Services to efficiently carry out their key functions, including epidemio-surveillance; early detection and reporting of diseases, including zoonoses; rapid response to and prevention and control of sanitary emergencies; animal products food safety; animal welfare and the relevant certification of animals and animal products for export. In the face of increasing global trade, climate change and the emergence and re-emergence of diseases that can rapidly spread across international borders, the Veterinary Services must be supported by effective and modern legislation. This is why the development and efficient implementation of legislation is included among the 46 critical competencies identified in the OIE PVS Tool for the Evaluation of Performance of Veterinary Services.

The OIE is aware that in many countries veterinary legislation is outdated and inadequate to meet current and future challenges and societal expectations.

In 2009, at the request of Members, the OIE developed Guidelines on Veterinary Legislation, setting out the essential elements that should be covered by legislation to meet the OIE quality standards.

In December 2010, the first OIE Global Conference on Veterinary Legislation, with the theme "Modernising Veterinary Legislation for Good Governance" was held in Djerba (Tunisia). One of the recommendations made by the Conference was that the OIE propose the adoption and publication of the current Veterinary Legislation Guidelines as standards in the Terrestrial Code (click here to view the recommendations of the Conference).

In response to this recommendation, OIE convened an ad hoc Group on Veterinary Legislation to develop the draft chapter. Through the established OIE standard setting procedure, the draft chapter on veterinary legislation was unanimously adopted by the World Assembly of Delegates at the 80th OIE General Session held in May 2012.

Click here to see the Terrestrial Code Chapter 3.4.  on veterinary legislation, which replaces the previous guidelines on Veterinary Legislation.

Veterinary Legislation Support Programme

As a follow up to an evaluation of the Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) using the OIE PVS Tool, and at the request of Members, the OIE conducts missions to help governments that wish to modernise the national veterinary legislation and thereby help the veterinary services to meet the OIE standards. After an initial ‘identification’ mission the country may request a longer term collaboration with the OIE, under a formal agreement, with the objective of modernising the national veterinary legislation.

As with other elements of the OIE PVS Pathway, legislation missions are undertaken by experts who are trained and certified by the OIE for this purpose. Mission reports are confidential unless/until the country authorises release to Donors or other OIE partners.

Overview of the VLSP (PDF)

Contacts : Dr David Sherman  / Ms. Camille Loi