Office International des Epizooties

The OIE ( is the World Organization for Animal Health. It sets guidelines and

Handbook of Biosurveillance ISBN 0-12-369378-0

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provides recommendations to minimize the risk of spreading animal diseases and pests while facilitating trade between nations. The OIE lists its missions as the following:

1. To guarantee the transparency of animal disease status worldwide

2. To collect, analyze, and disseminate veterinary scientific information

3. To provide expertise and promote international solidarity for the control of animal diseases

4. To guarantee the sanitary safety of world trade by developing sanitary rules for international trade in animals and animal products

The OIE develops policy, standards, and techniques that member countries can apply to help protect themselves from animal diseases by establishing valid import barriers for the trade of certain animals or animal products. These standards are documented in the International Terrestrial Animal Health Code and the International Aquatic Animal Health Code ( The requirements vary for individual diseases and depend on the impact of disease on animal health, agriculture, trade, and the human population.

The OIE does not support a zero-risk approach to the management of biosecurity risks—the codes document a level of protection that will provide minimal risk. If an exporting country can meet OIE code standards, then importing countries cannot prohibit access to their markets on the grounds of biosecurity concern. Therefore, the codes document the level of protection that provides an acceptably low risk to human, animal, or plant health arising from the importation of products (Biosecurity Australia, 2003). The information on animal health for any member country is available from the OIE ( or by request from the designated reporting body for that country.

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