World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

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Headquarters Paris
(International territory)
Official languages
Membership 180 member states
 -  President of the World Assembly of Delegates Germany Dr Karin Schwabenbauer
 -  Director General France Dr Bernard Vallat
 -  International Agreement signed 25 January 1924 (1924-01-25) 

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Headquarters building in Paris

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide. The need to fight animal diseases at global level led to the creation of the Office International des Epizooties through the international Agreement signed on January 25th 1924. In May 2003 the Office became the World Organisation for Animal Health but kept its historical acronym OIE. It is recognised as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in 2014 had a total of 180 Member Countries. The OIE maintains permanent relations with 45 other international and regional organisations and has Regional and sub-regional Offices on every continent. The main objective of the Office is to control epizootic diseases and thus to prevent their spread. The OIE does not depend on the UN system; its autonomy is both institutional and financial and its activities are governed by its own constitutional texts. Since its first General Session, held in Paris, The Office carries on its work under the authority of a Committee consisting of delegates of the contracting Governments.


All through the 18th Century and at the beginning of the 19th Century, the continued attacks of the cattle plague and the losses inflicted to agriculture stimulated in Europe a desire for better knowledge of the diseases of livestock, their treatment and their control. The European governments found it necessary to impose severe restrictions on the movements of cattle between countries and advocated policies of veterinary inspection of all markets on the continent. They also felt that the control of animal diseases could only be effectually brought about by international cooperation through a standardized sanitary legislation for all countries. The evolution of ideas concerning international veterinary co-operation, strongly fostered by the International Veterinary Congresses, led to the creation, on 25 January 1924 in Paris, of the Office international des epizooties (OIE). Rinderpest invaded Europe at the beginning of the Century and ‘… it has been estimated that two hundred million cattle died in Europe in the sixty-eight years after 1711 as a result of the great epidemic’ . During the whole second part of the 18th Century, Europe was desolated by a series of epizootics brought or favored by the incessant wars. It was in this difficult context that the first Veterinary School was created in Lyon (France) in 1762 at the initiative of Henri-Léonard Bertin, following the proposal of Claude Bourgelat. It was soon followed by the creation of the Alfort School in 1765 (also by Claude Bourgelat) . The Veterinary School of Turin (Italy) was established in 1769, followed by Göttingen (Germany) in 1771, Copenhagen (Denmark) in 1773, Skara (Sweden) in 1775, Hanover (Germany) in 1778, Vienna (Austro-Hungarian Empire) in 1779, Budapest in 1787, and London (United Kingdom) in 1791.


OIE has a total of 180 members.

World Animal Health Information Database (WAHID) Interface[edit]

Timely dissemination of information is crucial to containing outbreaks. The WAHID Interface provides access to all data held within OIE's new World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS). It replaces and significantly extends the former web interface named Handistatus II System.

A comprehensive range of information is available from:

  • Immediate notifications and follow-up reports submitted by Member Countries in response to exceptional disease events occurring in these countries as well as follow-up reports about these events,
  • Six-monthly reports describing the OIE-listed disease situations in each country
  • Annual reports providing further background information on animal health, on laboratory and vaccine production facilities.


External links[edit]