The World Organisation for Animal Health


The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE) is the global authority on animal health: we work to ensure the health of animals and their environments across the world, recognising that animal health is fundamentally connected with our health.

Since 1924, we have focused on the complexities of animal health. We disseminate information on animal diseases and use science-based strategies to limit their potentially negative impact on society. We monitor the emergence and development of animal diseases, whether they affect livestock, aquatic animals or wildlife to address them before they become a threat to public health. We partner with leading organisations like FAO, WHO and UNEP on global health initiatives. Our 182 Members know that adhering to our animal health and welfare standards is essential to ensuring safe trade, public health and economic growth within and beyond their borders, which makes us relevant and effective.

We believe that collaboration is the key to achieving results, which is why we strive to achieve solidarity among all our Member to effectively prevent and control animal diseases. We work to create a substantial network of people, a solid knowledge base and a pool of resources and information that can be easily accessed and shared. We seek to empower our partners by providing data and solutions to help them with their specific animal health challenges. We also work to reassure those who may be concerned about threats to their own health and livelihood by offering tools, knowledge and our track record of success in controlling animal diseases.

For those aiming to build a more sustainable society, one that fully embraces interdependence, we endeavour to be a leader for achieving this vision; our purpose is to improve animal health globally, so that livelihoods are transformed, economies are boosted and the world is a safer and healthier place.

We believe that animal health is essential to our future.
Animal health is our health. It’s everyone’s health.

In 1998, we were recognised as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The World Organisation for Animal Health maintains permanent relations with other international and regional organisations and has Regional and Sub-Regional Offices in five regions (Africa, Americas, Asia and Pacific, Europe and Middle-East).

Additional information can be found here:


General organisation

The organisation is placed under the authority and control of a World Assembly of Delegates consisting of Delegates designated by the Governments of all Member Countries.The day-to-day operation of the WOAH is managed at the Headquarters situated in Paris and placed under the responsibility of a Director General elected by the World Assembly of Delegates. The Headquarters implements the resolutions passed by the World Assembly of Delegates and developed with the support of Commissions elected by the Delegates:

  • Council 
  • Regional Commissions (Africa; Americas; Asia, Far East and Oceania; Europe; Middle-East)
  • Specialist Technical Commissions (4)
    – Terrestrial Code Commission (Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission)
    – Aquatic Animals Commission (Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission)
    – Laboratories Commission (Biological Standards Commission)
    – Scientific Commission (Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases)

Our financial resources are derived principally from compulsory annual contributions from Member Countries. It is backed up by other income, including miscellaneous income linked to the usual operation of the Office (publications sales, financial proceeds etc.), extraordinary contributions to finance specific activities which are in line with the routine activities of the WOAH, voluntary contributions from Member Countries and subsidies, donations and legacies of any nature, on condition that they are provided for purposes compatible with the principles, aims and activities of the Office. 

Basic texts of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)

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