WORLD ORGANISATION FOR ANIMAL HEALTH (OIE)
FOURTH STRATEGIC PLAN
2006 – 2010
Prepared by the Administrative Commission of the OIE
for adoption by the International Committee at its
73rd General Session, 22-27 May 2005
Prepared on the basis of proposals made by the Regional
Commissions. The text was developed by the Administrative
Commission at Montebello, Québec, Canada, 22-25
November 2004 and at OIE Headquarters, Paris, 23-25
The Administrative Commission wishes to express its
appreciation for the assistance of Dr. Alan Randell, former
Secretary of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, in the
preparation of this document.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS.......................................................................................................................................2
STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS AND FRAMEWORK .............................................................................................9
THE PLANNING ENVIRONMENT ............................................................................................................................9
Developments in OIE during the Third Strategic Plan .................................................................................. 9
Achievements of the Third Strategic Plan and Changes in the International Environment ......................... 10
New Challenges and Opportunities.............................................................................................................. 11
Institutional Challenges ............................................................................................................................... 12
MAIN STRATEGIC AREAS..............................................................................................................................................13
PROVISION OF INTERNATIONAL ANIMAL DISEASE INFORMATION ......................................................................13
DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF SCIENTIFICALLY-BASED STANDARDS ..............................................15
PREVENTION, CONTROL AND ERADICATION OF ANIMAL DISEASES INCLUDING ZOONOSES ...............................17
CAPACITY BUILDING FOR NATIONAL VETERINARY SERVICES ...........................................................................18
STRENGTHENING OIE’S INFLUENCE ON POLICY DESIGN, RESEARCH AND GOVERNANCE IN ANIMAL
HEALTH AND WELFARE............................................................................................................................19
ACHIEVING THE STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES........................................................................................................................21
STRENGTHENING THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF THE ORGANISATION’S WORK ...........................................................21
INCREASED ATTENTION TO ZOONOSES AND RELATED ISSUES ............................................................................21
COMMUNICATING OIE INFORMATION ................................................................................................................22
Public Information: Visibility and risk communication ............................................................................... 22
Dissemination of OIE Information ............................................................................................................... 22
Computer Systems Master Plan ................................................................................................................... 23
COOPERATION WITH PARTNER ORGANISATIONS .................................................................................................23
MEMBERSHIP AND RESOURCES ..........................................................................................................................25
BASIC TEXTS ......................................................................................................................................................25
CENTRAL AND REGIONAL OFFICES.....................................................................................................................25
OIE Headquarters ........................................................................................................................................ 25
Regional Approaches ................................................................................................................................... 26
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE, ADMINISTRATIVE COMMISSION, REGIONAL COMMISSIONS AND
The International Committee........................................................................................................................ 26
Administrative Commission.......................................................................................................................... 26
Regional Commissions ................................................................................................................................. 27
Regional Representations............................................................................................................................. 27
Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories .................................................................................... 27
SPECIALIST COMMISSIONS, WORKING GROUPS AND AD HOC GROUPS ..............................................................28
Specialist Commissions ................................................................................................................................ 29
Working Groups ........................................................................................................................................... 30
Ad hoc Groups.............................................................................................................................................. 31
PREPARATION OF THE DIRECTOR GENERAL’S PROGRAMME OF WORK ................................................................................32
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 2
Framework of the Fourth Strategic Plan
1. The World Organisation for Animal Health was founded in 1924 as the Office International des Epizooties
(OIE) to provide international cooperation and coordination against the spread of animal diseases. Eighty
years later, the core mandate of the organisation has been modified to become “the improvement of animal
health throughout the world” because it is recognized that controlling the spread of animal diseases is best
achieved by ensuring the health of animals wherever they are.1 The improvement of animal health has net
positive consequences for human health (including through food safety) and animal welfare and it has net
benefits for economic development and the alleviation of poverty especially in rural populations.
International cooperation and coordination of actions based on the scientific assessment of risks to animal
health remain the principal means of achieving these benefits.
2. The Fourth Strategic Plan addresses matters that affect countries’ abilities to trade in animals and animal
products, raising issues of access to markets for safe and acceptable food products and the question of
benefiting from the rights and obligations acquired by Members of the World Trade Organisation under the
Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. It takes into account the economic,
social and environmental consequences of animal disease control measures. It also addresses fundamental
issues of protecting livestock from devastating diseases, the consequences of which and the subsequent
economic losses are felt most severely in the poorest of the world’s countries. Reduction of the animal
disease burden is linked to poverty reduction in these countries and is an essential element of the
Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations to be achieved by 2015.
3. The Plan also stresses the capacity of the Organisation to address the consequences of those animal diseases
that are also diseases in humans (zoonoses), or have the potential to be harmful to public health. The OIE
will remain the key international organization providing professional science-based advice on ways to
identify, control and where possible eradicate these diseases, and will work in cooperation with other
professional international organisations such as the FAO and the WHO to achieve this.
4. Finally, the Fourth Strategic Plan proposes new solutions for delivering its strategic objectives, from
strengthening the Organisation’s reputation for scientific excellence in its normative work to the
introduction of new mechanisms for capacity-building for national Veterinary Services.
5. The Fourth Strategic Plan of the OIE covers the period 2006 to 2010 and was developed by the
Administrative Commission of the Organisation following extensive and inclusive consultation with
Regional Commissions of the OIE and the Member Countries.
6. The global vision of the OIE enunciated in the Third Strategic Plan has been retained for the current
planning period. In fact, the Fourth Strategic Plan retains three of the four strategic elements of the
previous Plan, with minor modifications as these have been identified with the fundamental mandate of the
• Provision of international disease information;
• Development and implementation of scientifically-based standards in relation with the World Trade
Organisation (WTO); and
• Prevention, control and eradication of animal diseases, including zoonoses, and the determination of
animal health status.
Throughout the Strategic Plan reference to the terms “animals”, “animal disease(s)”, “animal products” and “livestock”
should be taken to mean both terrestrial and aquatic animals unless otherwise stated.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 3
7. Two new strategic elements are added. The first of these, capacity building, has been included as a result
of overwhelming interest expressed by Member Countries for the Organisation to take an active role in this
area. Because of its mandate, the primary role of the OIE in capacity building is seen as one of a catalyst,
enhancing linkages between national Veterinary Services and financial and development institutions. One
of the main channels of support is the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) operated by the
World Trade Organisation in cooperation with the World Bank and in which the OIE is an active partner
and which is intended to strengthen the role of developing Member Countries in the standards-setting
process as described in the Doha Ministerial Declaration. In addition to its role as a catalyst for major
capacity building activities, the OIE will also provide support to Member Countries wishing to become
more fully engaged in the work of the Organisation in the form of training materials and training
programmes for official Delegates, especially new Delegates.
8. The second new element deals with strengthening OIE’s influence on policy design, research and
governance in animal health and welfare. This element brings together a wide variety of activities
undertaken by the Organisation especially in the policy design and research into animal diseases and the
role of OIE’s Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres; it is not therefore entirely “new” but
should bring a new impetus to the Organization’s work in this area. Within the part of this element dealing
with “governance”, emphasis is also placed on the capacity of the OIE to assist Member Countries to
resolve disputes, on a voluntary basis, in accordance with the procedures set out in the Terrestrial Animal
The Strategic Objectives 2006-2010:
1. To maintain and improve the provision of timely and accurate animal disease
information, including information on zoonoses, by making the best use of scientific
data modelling, modern information technologies and non official information tracking
2. To maintain and strengthen the role of the OIE as a reference organisation for
scientifically-based standards to the international community on all matters concerning
animal health and zoonoses, animal welfare, diagnosis and control of diseases including
the assessment of animal health status, and sanitary safety in international trade.
3. To provide scientifically-based recommendations on measures for the prevention,
control and eradication of animal diseases including zoonoses, taking into account the
economic, social and environmental impacts of such measures, and to provide services
for the determination of animal health status in relation to specific diseases.
4. In cooperation with partners, to strengthen the capacity of member countries in their
efforts to participate in the development of, and to apply international standards and
guidelines for animal health and welfare, including zoonoses.
5. To strengthen OIE’s involvement in policy design and governance related to decision
making in animal health and welfare including capacity building, policy research,
effective communication, and the “mediation” of potential disputes.
Delivering the Strategic Objectives
9. The Fourth Strategic Plan introduces four issues that cut across the five major strategic elements and which
are essential for their successful delivery. It is in these areas that the growth of the Organisation’s work
will be concentrated between 2006 and 2010.
10. The first of these is the strengthening the OIE’s reputation for scientific excellence. OIE will continue to
ensure that the work of its scientific bodies is soundly based and draws upon the best available scientific
information. To enhance the depth and coverage of this information, the OIE will strengthen the work of
its scientific Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories using techniques ranging from direct
financial support to the encouragement of laboratory-to-laboratory cooperation (“twinning”). Transparency
in the scientific decision-making processes will continue to be assured. The scientific decisions of the OIE
will be such that they would be able to withstand external scientific scrutiny and peer-review.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 4
11. The OIE will also give strong attention to the implications of diseases transmitted from animals to
humans (zoonoses). Lessons learned during the period of the Third Strategic Plan in handling issues such
as Sudden Acute Respiratory Symptoms (SARS), Avian Influenza, and the occurrence in Asia and North
America of BSE will provide the basis for international responses to unexpected or unusual animal disease
outbreaks affecting human health, with the collaboration of other competent agencies such as the WHO.
12. One of the major means of delivering the strategic objectives of the Fourth Strategic Plan will be enhanced
communication. Considerable efforts and resources will be dedicated to ensuring that the information
technology, communications and publications systems of the Organisation will remain at the highest levels
of efficiency and effectiveness throughout the planning period. The visibility of the OIE to the general
public, media, decision-makers, veterinary professionals and farmers will be enhanced significantly.
13. Delivery of the Fourth Strategic Plan will require cooperation with other partners at many institutional
levels. During the period of the Third Strategic Plan, cooperative agreements were concluded with the
principal international intergovernmental organisations working in related technical fields, as well as with a
number of developmental and financial institutions, and with the private sector. In the period covered by
the Fourth Strategic Plan, attention will be paid to issues of practical cooperation for improving
14. The Fourth Strategic Plan includes recommendations for a renovation of its basic texts to take into account
the cumulative Decisions and Resolutions of its governing body, the International Committee. The Plan
recognizes the important contribution to the overall strategic work of the OIE provided by its Regional
Commissions and Regional Representations. Regional institutional arrangements, including budgeting
provisions, will be addressed during the planning period. The relationship between the International
Committee, the Administrative Commission and the Director-General will be examined with a view to
ensuring efficient and transparent governance of the Organisation.
15. The vision of the Fourth Strategic Plan is for a stronger, energetic work programme. This will require
adequate financial resources based primarily on the assessed contributions of OIE’s Member Countries and
on voluntary contributions. For the first of these, the Fourth Strategic Plan foresees adjustments to the
design and scale of assessed contributions in order to facilitate the recovery of contributions from all
Members; new members will also be recruited. For voluntary contributions, there will be greater flexibility
in how such contributions can be made and from which sources; nevertheless, the independence of the
Organisation will not be affected.
16. The Strategic Plan is to be completed by an initial Programme of Work that gives effect to the objectives
enunciated in the Plan. This will be submitted for adoption to the International Committee in 2006. It is
recommended that the Administrative Commission review the progress towards achieving these objectives
during the third year of the Plan (2008) with a view to making such adjustments to the Programme of Work
as may be required to meet the objectives described by the year 2010.
17. The Director-General will also propose estimates of the resources required to implement the Strategic Plan
on the basis of both regular and voluntary contributions including the new modalities for the use of Trust
Funds, as well as proposals for the allocation of these resources according to the Programme of Work.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 5
1 Strategic directions
18. In 1990, following a long and distinguished history of providing services to its Member Countries, the OIE
decided to embark on a formal strategic planning process to enhance its effectiveness in responding to the
new challenges and opportunities that were being presented by the changing environment in world trade of
animals and animal products and new demands of Member Countries on the scope of its mandate. The
Organisation’s first Strategic Plan for the years 1991-1996 was adopted by the International Committee
(General Assembly of Delegates of all Member Countries) in 1991 and subsequent Strategic Plans were
adopted in 1996 and 2000. The Third Strategic Plan, adopted in 2000, set a new pattern for the
Organisation’s planning process by looking forward to the new millennium while conserving and building
on the strengths of the Organisation developed since its formation in 1924.
19. The core mandate of the Organisation is to improve animal health in the world. By a resolution of its
governing body, the International Committee, in 2002 it is also the key international organisation for
animal welfare and it also deals with the effects of zoonoses on veterinary public health including food
safety. This is a global vision, but one that has various practical implications at regional and sub-regional
levels as well as at the national level and frequently within countries. The implementation of these
mandates has beneficial consequences for Member Countries of economic development including the
alleviation of poverty especially in rural areas and access to regional and international markets,
together with improvements to food safety and animal welfare with resulting benefits for a much wider
population. These mandates impose obligations on the part of the Organisation to act as the international
reference body on the animal disease status of countries with parallel obligations on its Member countries
to provide timely and accurate animal disease information to the Organisation, as well as to respect
international standards and to participate in their development.
20. The Third Strategic Plan took the opportunity to reassess the vision and mission of the Organisation. Its
vision was described as follows:
The OIE will strive to become the pre-eminent world reference for animal
health by accessing and producing comprehensive scientific knowledge and
consensus on it. This knowledge will promote the improvement of
international animal health for the benefit of animal production and trade
world-wide, and for the protection of public health.
Its global mission was formulated as:
To convert international scientific data on animal health into information
and to transform information into knowledge products that meet the needs of
21. In pursuit of this global mission and in conformity with its core mandate and decisions of the International
Committee, the Administrative Commission has now established the following specific missions for the
• To ensure transparency in the global animal disease including zoonoses situation;
• To collect, analyse and disseminate relevant scientific information, especially on disease control
methods and animal welfare;
• To provide expertise and encourage international solidarity in the control of animal diseases
• Within its mandate under the WTO SPS Agreement, to assure safety of world trade in animals and
animal products by publishing relevant health standards for such trade;
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 7
• To improve the legal framework, competency and resources of national Veterinary Services; and
particularly their international public good components;2
• To influence policy design, research and governance on worldwide issues concerning animal health
and animal welfare;
• To provide a better guarantee of the safety of food of animal origin from hazards originating in
animal production; and
• To promote animal welfare through a science-based approach.
22. The strategic planning process attempts to establish a structured framework for the Organisation as a global
body, and defines its goals for the medium term so that there will be net positive progress towards each of
these objectives at the end of the planning period. The global strategic plan should then serve as a template
for each of the Organisation’s five Regional Commissions to draw up regional strategic plans and plans of
action to meet the specific requirements and specific conditions at the regional and sub-regional level.
Finally, at the national level, governments, through the national Veterinary Services3, should be able to
draw up national plans appropriate to their own circumstances to pursue the same core values expressed
23. This Fourth Strategic Plan spans the five-year period from 2006 to 2010. It builds on the success of the
Third Strategic Plan (2001-2005), retaining both the vision of the future and the global mission described
by the International Committee in 2000. Although the Fourth Strategic Plan could be seen as a progressive
development of the previous plan by consolidating its achievements, it sets out new approaches to
achieving the vision adopted by the Organisation’s General Assembly in 2000.
24. The foremost among these changes is the new emphasis to be given to capacity building. This is proposed
without establishing the OIE as a development agency, but by using its ability to act as a catalyst and a
major player for developing the capacities of national Veterinary Services within an overall international
developmental framework with the support of other regional and international organisations.
25. A new strategic area emphasizes the status of the OIE as an international body that provides influence in
the policy design and governance of issues regarding animal health and animal welfare. This aspect of the
OIE’s work has been growing significantly, with the OIE taking a lead role in such regional initiatives as
the African Regional Programme for Animal Disease Control (PACE), the African Livestock Programme
(ALIVE), and the South East Asia Foot and Mouth Disease Programme (SEAFMD), as well as at the
global level. It is proposed that these models of activities be described in a strategic manner and then
further developed as a major new strategic direction for the Organisation. The principal outcomes of this
new strategic area would be: to influence through involvement in the governance of regional and global
organisations involved in policy design, research and implementation relating to animal health and welfare,
including capacity building.
26. Within this new strategic area, increased emphasis will be given to the Organisation’s role to assist as a
provider of expert advice in the “mediation” of disputes on sanitary issues affecting trade without affecting
the rights and obligations of Member Countries under the SPS Agreement.
27. The Fourth Strategic Plan will also seek to enhance the application of its international standards by all of its
Member Countries according to their animal health needs. Over the years considerable efforts and
resources have been dedicated to building a compendium of scientifically-based standards aimed at
improving animal health word-wide. The failure to apply these standards results in the waste of resources;
opens the way to misunderstanding and disputes between countries on animal health matters; creates
confusion and undermines public and consumer confidence; imposes significant unnecessary economic
The concept of international public goods refers to activities having a priority social interest for the international
community. International financial institutions recognize this quality in certain public components of national veterinary
services (mainly early detection and rapid response to animal diseases including zoonoses).
The same principles that apply to capacity building for Veterinary Services should also apply in countries where the
responsibility for establishing or applying animal health measures is exercised by an organisation other than the
Veterinary Services or by an authority or agency on behalf of the Veterinary Services (See Article 126.96.36.199 of the
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 8
consequences; and results in failure to protect both animal and human populations from devastating
diseases. All efforts will be made during the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan to improve the current rate
of application of OIE standards by the Member countries.
28. Another major change incorporated into the Fourth Strategic Plan is the recognition of a series of cross-
cutting issues that affect the delivery of the strategic objectives in all of the main strategic areas. Among
these issues is the pursuit of scientific excellence and support to the OIE Collaborating Centres and
Reference Laboratories. The Organisation will continue its efforts in support of applied scientific research
(a former “strategic area”), but these activities will now be associated with strengthening the scientific
excellence of decision-making in the principal areas identified in this Strategic Plan.
29. The Fourth Strategic Plan identifies communication as a principal issue cutting across all of its work and
includes communication with decision-makers, the media, the general public and peer professionals in at
30. The success of the Fourth Strategic Plan will depend on adherence to the core values of the mandate and to
build on the identified strengths of the OIE as described in the mission statement. The main challenge to
the success of the Fourth Strategic Plan will be the Organisation’s ability to meet the needs of all Member
Countries regardless of their stage of development; the main risk to success is over-commitment and the
subsequent loss of credibility. The planning process must balance challenges and risks, resources and
commitments, aspirations and abilities. The outcome of this process is presented here.
STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS AND FRAMEWORK
31. The preparation of the Fourth Strategic Plan was managed by the Administrative Commission following
consultations with the Regional Commissions and Specialist Commissions during 2003 and 2004. An
analysis and summary outline of the plan were presented to the International Committee in May 2004 and
then circulated to Member Countries to obtain their initial reactions and further input. In November 2004 a
special meeting of the Administrative Commission was held in Montebello, Québec, Canada, to consolidate
these views and to prepare a more complete draft of the Strategic Plan for consideration by the
Administrative Commission in February 2005, with subsequent distribution to Member Countries and
submission for adoption to the International Committee in May 2005.
32. The Strategic Plan is a statement of objectives to be achieved within the planning period. It is derived from
the Vision enunciated by the International Committee in 2000 and shaped by the Mission Statement
adopted at the same time. The Strategic Plan provides the basis for individual work plans to be developed
and implemented over the next five years. The Strategic Plan must also be sufficiently flexible to allow
responses to changes in the animal health, animal welfare and trading environments that are not foreseen at
the current moment. These may take the form of new objectives or changes in priorities. Nevertheless, the
framework established by the Vision and Mission statements will guide the Organisation in adjusting the
Strategic Plan if the need arises.
33. The Strategic Plan is to be supplemented by an initial Programme of Work that gives effect to the
objectives enunciated in the Plan to be submitted for adoption to the International Committee in 2006
including an estimate of the resources required to implement the programme. The Administrative
Commission recommends that it review the progress towards achieving these objectives during the third
year of the Plan (2008) with a view to making such adjustments to the Programme of Work as may be
required to meet the objectives described by the year 2010.
THE PLANNING ENVIRONMENT
Developments in OIE during the Third Strategic Plan
34. The Third Strategic Plan analysed the opportunities and challenges, and strengths and weaknesses facing
the Organisation in the period 2000-2005. The OIE greatly benefited from this analysis, maintaining and
strengthening its pre-eminent role as the international scientific reference point on standards and related
matters concerning animal health and animal welfare. The conclusion of cooperative agreements with the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO),
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 9
the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Commission of the European Communities (EC), among
others, have significantly strengthened the Organisation’s ability to respond quickly to Members’ needs for
authoritative advice on new animal health, zoonotic, animal welfare and animal production food safety
issues. The OIE has also entered into agreements with relevant international professional organisations
representing the private sector including the International Meat Secretariat (IMS) and the International
Dairy Federation (IDF).
35. The development of a new animal disease notification system during the period 2000-2005 based on single
lists for terrestrial and aquatic diseases in line with the principles of the Agreement on the Application of
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO),
represented a major step forward in transparency by classifying diseases as specific hazards and giving all
listed diseases the same degree of importance in international trade based on defined epidemiological
criteria. It further underscored the need to replace current trade-restrictive procedures with increased
investments in surveillance and risk mitigation measures to facilitate safe trade in animals and animal
36. However, one of the most important changes that has come to the fore since 2000 has been recognition of
the need to address the problems of developing countries in their capacities to participate fully and
equitably in the standard-setting processes of the bodies referenced in the SPS Agreement, including the
OIE, as well as deriving full benefit from and meeting their obligations under this Agreement in the animal
health sector. Strong steps have been made in enhancing the capacity building framework for animal
health, but much more needs to be done and will need to be addressed in the Fourth Strategic Plan.
37. Because the Fourth Strategic Plan is, in part, a progressive development of the Third Strategic Plan,
changes within the international framework since 2000 need to be taken into account. Furthermore, the
Fourth Strategic Plan must foresee, to the extent possible, changes that may occur in the period 2006-2010.
Achievements of the Third Strategic Plan and Changes in the International Environment
38. The Fourth Strategic Plan builds on the success of the Third Strategic Plan, the highlights of which were:
• Strengthening the Organisation’s capacity to provide comprehensive, accurate and timely
international animal disease information;
• Strengthening the Organisation’s work in the development of scientifically-based standards for
animal health and extending this work to cover animal welfare and the food safety aspects of animal
• Incorporating newly emerging and wildlife diseases, as well as diseases of non-conventional
livestock, into the Organisation’s information systems and recommendations for the prevention,
control and eradication of animal diseases;
• Shifting the paradigm for animal disease control from one of trade restriction to one of control,
mitigation and management so as to allow safe trade in commodities of animal origin; and
• Enhancing the Organisation’s linkages with other international organisations, including those
representing the financial and private sectors, with a view to influencing and strengthening overall
international cooperation and coordination for improving animal health status throughout the world.
39. Changes in the international framework that occurred during the Third Strategic Plan include:
• Entry-into-force of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in September 2003 and its potential impact
on genetically-modified aquatic and terrestrial animals, and on living modified organisms used as
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 10
• Efforts by international agencies to mitigate the risks associated with the intentional use of
biological agents to disrupt societies and economies;
• Development of a designated capacity-building framework under the Standards and Trade
Development Facility (STDF) by FAO, OIE, WHO, WTO and the World Bank for the application of
• Development of the International Portal on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health (IPFSAPH)
implemented by the FAO with the support of the OIE and other relevant organisations as a resource
for official information on SPS matters and matters covered by the Cartagena Protocol;
• Establishment by FAO and WHO of the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN)
as part of WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network;
• Further development by WHO of new International Health Regulations that may include zoonoses;
• Development by the OIE of standards on animal welfare and animal production food safety;
• Increased reference to OIE standards by countries raising formal trade complaints in the SPS
• Extension of the framework of cooperative agreements between the OIE and other international,
regional and professional bodies;
• Development of a common programme between OIE and FAO to address transboundary animal
diseases (GF-TADs), and between OIE, FAO and WHO to exchange information on diseases
(GLEWS – Global Early Warning System);
• Setting up a special fund for projects seeking funding from non-governmental sources.
New Challenges and Opportunities
40. The period of the Third Strategic Plan also saw a number of international health crises, in particular the
outbreaks of sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), foot and mouth disease, BSE in Asia and North
America and avian influenza that have had widespread, severe consequences. Lessons learned from the
response to these outbreaks must be incorporated into the Fourth Strategic Plan, and questions that remain
as to how to address future events in a timely and scientific manner must be studied and hopefully
answered during the period of the Plan.
41. Some of the answers to these questions may challenge current methodologies for the management of
animal health risks. However, new tools for risk management especially in systems and information
management may allow the control of diseases within very small geographical areas. Such developments
would open the way to new approaches on how to limit the spread of disease and then how to control it and
eradicate it in ways that are minimally disruptive to trade in safe and socially acceptable products. The
Fourth Strategic Plan must provide for the consideration of these new risk-management tools in the major
strategic areas of animal disease information, standards-setting, and in the prevention (including increasing
use of vaccination and new companion diagnostic tests), control and eradication of diseases.
42. Such changes create, in themselves, the challenge of response to change over the relatively short period
covered by the Fourth Strategic Plan. Particular stresses will be placed on those countries that do not have
the legal, administrative, and physical infrastructures necessary to be able to adapt rapidly to the changing
environment. Consideration must be given, therefore, to capacity-building and other means of support that
will allow those countries most affected to develop more rapidly than the overall rate of change.
Importantly, capacity building should allow all countries to benefit from their rights under the SPS
Agreement and to meet the obligations of that Agreement.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 11
43. Further changes that may be anticipated during the period covered by the Fourth Strategic Plan include:
• Further improvements in information tracking and exchange via internet and related technologies;
• Improvements in the scientific understanding of new and emerging animal diseases and zoonoses;
• Increasingly complex bi-lateral or regional agreements on animal health matters, especially in
reference to official veterinary policies;
• Greatly increased demands for authoritative scientific and technical information as well as public
information on animal health and related matters
• Continued concern about the intentional use of biological agents to disrupt societies and economies;
• Increased consumer interest in the safety of food products of animal origin as well as their
provenance and methods of production;
• Development of and continuous improvement in disease control methods (vaccines, diagnostic
assays, culling and disposal), biotechnologies and other new technologies; and
• Increasing social, economic and environmental constraints associated with eradication control
programmes for the management of animal diseases, especially in outbreak situations.
44. The Fourth Strategic Plan must continue the progress made under the Third Strategic Plan in establishing
the OIE as the primary world reference point for animal health and welfare matters, including animal health
matters affecting human health and food safety. Special attention will have to be given to the relationships
between the Organisation and its partner organisations, especially FAO and WHO as well as the Codex
Alimentarius Commission, in these matters so that the OIE will continue to contribute to the international
system of rapid exchange of information and communication on these issues.
45. The Fourth Strategic Plan also creates challenges to the OIE as an institution by extending the
Organisation’s activities in response to its broader mandate. In addition to the resource implications, there
will be increased stresses placed on its administrative structures, including the Headquarters and regional
representations and on the critical role and obligations of the Delegates within their own countries.
Moreover, as is appropriate to an Organisation with a strong regional base, the Fourth Strategic Plan will
address regional issues as a strategic element in its own right with the objective of enhancing regional
cooperation and coordination in achieving its global objectives.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 12
2 Main strategic areas
46. As a result of the considerations described above, the main Strategic Areas of the Fourth Strategic Plan are:
a) Provision of international animal disease and zoonoses information;
b) Development and implementation of scientifically-based standards;
c) Prevention, control and eradication of animal diseases and zoonoses (including in aquatic animals and
wildlife) and the evaluation of animal health status;
d) Capacity building for national Veterinary Services; and
e) Strengthening the Organisation’s influence internationally and nationally on policy design, applied
research and governance in animal health and animal welfare (including in veterinary public health).
47. These main strategic areas cover the Organisation’s principal activities. They are described below in detail,
with a description of the strategic objectives to be achieved or pursued within the time frame of the Fourth
Strategic Plan. Other continuing activities will be maintained to the extent that they support these strategic
48. The following Chapter (Chapter 3) describes issues that cut across most, or all, of these main Strategic
Areas. To a considerable degree, most of the changes in emphasis in the Fourth Strategic Plan occur in
these cross-cutting areas, but to understand them it is first necessary to describe the main Strategic Areas
and the objectives to be achieved in each of them.
PROVISION OF INTERNATIONAL ANIMAL DISEASE INFORMATION
Objective: To maintain and improve the provision of timely and accurate
animal disease information, including information on zoonoses, by making
the best use of scientific data modelling, modern information technologies
and non official information tracking systems.
49. The provision of timely and accurate animal disease information, including information on zoonoses,
remains one of the core functions of the Organisation and is one in which the OIE is the world leader.
Providing such information requires timely access by the OIE to all relevant data sources, both
conventional and non-conventional (using in this case non official information tracking systems), followed
by professional analysis, evaluation and interpretation of data including the views of the country affected
before an official release is made.
50. The OIE will continue, as a matter of high priority, to disseminate official information concerning the
disease status of its Member Countries in a timely and efficient manner, based on official information
received from Member Countries (confirmed by the official Delegate). All OIE Member Countries have an
obligation to report information on animal diseases in an open and timely manner, especially when there is
a change in disease status. Information technologies permit the rapid acquisition and processing of
information as well its dissemination in a transparent, responsive and efficient manner.
51. Based on the new animal disease notification system based using single lists for terrestrial and aquatic
animals and common interpretation of epidemiological data, ‘active’ search systems for animal disease
information utilising geographical information systems are to be developed and made accessible as a result
of a new computer systems master plan (see below). The Fourth Strategic Plan foresees changes in the
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 13
frequency with which Member Countries should submit regular reports to the OIE and a significant
increase in the number of emergency and follow-up reports by the Central Bureau based on this
52. In addition to the receipt and dissemination of official information, the Organisation will continue to collect
and analyse animal disease information from other reliable sources, including the information transmitted
by Reference Laboratories on the results of tests undertaken in this role. The role of Reference
Laboratories in this regard will be strengthened.
53. Implementing these changes will mean completely redesigning the existing animal health information
system, and taking full advantage of all the possibilities offered by the latest information and
communication technology, including mapping software.
54. Within the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan, the OIE will strengthen aspects of this strategic area that
will assist in the early detection and warning of the malicious or intentional use of biological agents to
disrupt trade in animals or animal products or which have consequences for animal or public health.
55. Also within the period 2006 – 2010, the OIE will work towards the establishment of “Early warning
systems” and emergency plans and strengthen its disease surveillance in wild animal populations. Both of
these objectives will require a better knowledge of national and regional epidemiological surveillance
systems and harmonization of such systems at the regional level or as required. Epidemiological
modelling should be considered and where appropriate supported so as to evolve from the status of a
scientific tool to a practical applied instrument in veterinary administration. The programme of work under
this Strategic Area will require substantial efforts on the part of the Specialist Commissions.
56. In order to ensure that the sanitary surveillance of wild animals and/or of aquatic animals is integrated into
the general system of surveillance, the OIE will take steps to ensure that the Member Countries designate a
national focal point for each of these areas of activity in those countries where this responsibility is
attributed to a Ministry other than the one to which the Delegate to the OIE pertains. The appropriate
relationship between such focal points and the official Delegate to the OIE will be defined.
57. In addition to the formal dissemination of animal disease information, efforts will be made to alert relevant
international and regional organisations responsible for transport of goods and people to the risks associated
with the international transmission of animal diseases and zoonoses, by means of cooperative agreements
58. Specific recommendations include:
• Improving animal health information, collection and dissemination for better control of diseases and
safety of livestock products;
• Strengthening animal disease surveillance systems, including those of aquatic animals and wildlife;
• Improving the knowledge of epidemiological surveillance systems of animal diseases and
harmonization of surveillance systems at the regional level;
• Strengthening the operations of the centralized Early Disease Warning Systems and Emergency
Plans so as to avoid duplication at the regional level or the need for multiple reporting by individual
• Strengthening the ability of the OIE Reference Laboratories to provide information on the results of
tests undertaken in their official capacity;
• Providing information, through international institutions such as the International Air Transport
Association (IATA) and others, on the risks associated with the importation of animals and animal
products in specific countries;
• Developing ‘active’ search systems for non-official animal disease information and geographical
information systems are currently being developed. Their optimal use will depend upon the adoption
and implementation of a new computer systems master plan.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 14
DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
OF SCIENTIFICALLY-BASED STANDARDS
Objective: To maintain and strengthen the role of the OIE as a reference
organisation for scientifically-based standards to the international
community on all matters concerning animal health and zoonoses, animal
welfare, diagnosis and control of diseases including the assessment of animal
health status, and sanitary safety in international trade.
59. One of the major roles of the OIE is to produce scientifically-based standards for animal health and
zoonoses. Such standards are the most tangible examples of knowledge products developed by the
Organisation. Since the recognition of these standards by the WTO as the scientific reference points for the
safety of international trade of animals and animal products, as well as for the resolution of disputes
concerning animal health and zoonoses, the development of OIE standards for international trade has
assumed a prominent role. Critical to the continued acceptance of these standards is transparency during
standards development and the use of scientific risk-based approaches.
60. The period of the Fourth Strategic Plan will also be used to encourage greater implementation of the OIE
standards by Member Countries in accordance with their obligations under the WTO SPS Agreement and
in line with the rights and obligations of membership in the OIE.
61. Scientifically-based standards are also essential in the determination of the health status of a country, zone
or compartment, this being one of the most important risk management measures for the improvement of
animal health. In addition to the development or maintenance of specific standards for this purpose,
consideration will be given in the planning period to the development of scientifically-based principles to
assist in the determination of whether or not additional specific diseases should be subject to official
recognition of animal health status. Guidelines for the monitoring of health status will be developed.
62. During the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan, the Organisation will strengthen its standards-setting
procedures by developing clear uniform principles and guidelines that outline the roles and responsibilities
of the relevant Ad hoc Groups of experts, Working Groups and Commissions; provide advice on how to
take into account diverse or dissenting scientific opinion; and provide for full documentation of the
63. Recognizing that standards provide some of the best tools for risk management in the fields of animal
health and animal welfare, the OIE during the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan will ensure that its
standards are maintained in a manner to ensure their consistency with the latest scientific knowledge
utilising risk assessment as appropriate to the circumstances in each case. In particular, it will develop and
publish clear policies to ensure that its standards are underpinned by scientific data that are of a quality that
would withstand scientific peer review; that they identify risks and effective management options to
address these risks4; and that they are developed by transparent processes and reflect international
64. The Third Strategic Plan gave examples of standards development and without repeating them here, many
of them will continue to form part of the Work Programme for the period 2006 – 2010. In addition,
consideration will be given to the following additional areas, although it should be noted that work on at
least the first two has begun:
• animal welfare;
• animal production food safety;
The selection of preferred risk management options by a Member Country will primarily involve a systematic evaluation
of the likely impact of different measures in effectively managing identified risks. Wherever possible and practical, a
risk-based control system will use risk assessment information to establish regulatory “targets” at a particular step in the
exposure pathway that delivers a defined level of protection.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 15
• addressing ‘safe’ commodities in existing and new Code chapters;
• surveillance for animal diseases;
• compartmentalisation including appropriate detailed guidelines for implementation by Member
• interactive standards to allow development of appropriate and viable international health certificates
established by veterinary services
• consequences of genetic modification in animals on animal health and zoonoses or where
genetically modified organisms have been used as part of disease control or eradication procedures;
• animal vaccines, animal drugs and diagnostic materials based on living modified organisms and
other GMO-derived materials;
• environmental impact of animal disease control measures including the recycling of animal by-
• standards for quality assurance of veterinary diagnostic and vaccine production laboratories;
• standards for determining the quality of vaccines;
• standards or guidelines for the validation of diagnostic tests;
• electronic certification;
• harmonizing the registration, recording and control of veterinary drugs;
• use of epidemiological modelling as an tool for veterinary administrations;
• ethics, quality, efficiency and evaluation of Veterinary Services
65. During the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan, special attention will be paid to the development of
standards or guidelines for animal registration and identification systems and traceability systems as
economically feasible and practical tools for the management of animal health risks.
66. Further recommendations in this strategic area include:
• Guidelines or standards to validate diagnostic kits for which there is a commercial patent.
• Development of new standards in the area of animal production food safety for inclusion in the
Terrestrial and Aquatic Codes and Manuals for pathogens and contaminants that represent hazards
to human health even if they have not always effects on animal health;
• Harmonization of electronic certification procedures;
• Strengthening of incentives for compliance of Member Countries with standards, in particular on
Veterinary Services and veterinary ethics;
• Guidelines on the auditing of Veterinary Services, and for quality assurance systems for diagnostic
and vaccine production laboratories;
• Continued reviews of veterinary pharmaceuticals and other biological agents and publications of
standards related to microbial resistance policies.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 16
67. The nature of some of these newer areas of work necessitates close cooperation and consultation with other
relevant international bodies including FAO, WHO, Codex Alimentarius Commission, the Conference of
the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and sometimes the ISO.
68. During the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan, the ‘horizontal’ standards applicable to both terrestrial
animals and aquatic animals will be harmonized to the extent possible.
PREVENTION, CONTROL AND ERADICATION OF
ANIMAL DISEASES INCLUDING ZOONOSES
Objective: To provide scientifically-based recommendations on measures for
the prevention, control and eradication of animal diseases including
zoonoses, taking into account the economic, social and environmental
impacts of such measures, and to provide services for the determination of
animal health status in relation to specific diseases.
69. The Organisation will continue to serve as a reference organisation for its Member Countries during the
implementation of national and regional animal and zoonotic disease prevention and eradication
programmes, making use of all of the information and knowledge at its disposal including the
implementation of its own standards. It will promote the international co-ordination and cooperation
required to control animal diseases worldwide, in close collaboration with all those responsible for animal
and human health and, where appropriate, with regional and international organisations specialised in
financing cooperation. Prevention and control procedures against the malicious or intentional use of
biological agents to disrupt trade in animals or animal products or that pose potential risks to animal or
public health will be considered.
70. The OIE will continue to provide services to Member Countries wishing to recognise their territory, or a
part of it, as free or provisionally from the four animal diseases already specified by the International
Committee (foot and mouth disease, rinderpest, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and contagious bovine
pleuropneumonia). Consideration may be given in the course of the Fourth Strategic Plan to the inclusion
of additional diseases to this list, but such proposals will be treated with caution and evaluated to determine
whether their inclusion is justified and whether or not the recognition of disease-free status is the most
appropriate risk management technique for the control of these diseases or for the promotion of safe trade.
71. Because this strategic area is critically important to the mandate of the Organisation, the Fourth Strategic
Plan seeks to strengthen the work programme by continuing the work begun during the Third Strategic Plan
on Manuals. Linkages with corresponding activities under “standards” should be made clear and
strengthened, including those related to animal production food safety. In this context the present
worldwide network of OIE Reference Laboratories will be updated and expanded to incorporate as far as
possible all the diseases mentioned in the Manuals.
72. OIE Reference Laboratories are obliged to provide standard diagnostic tests if no commercial tests are
available. During the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan, the OIE will examine opportunities to develop
the capabilities of the Reference Laboratories in this regard, especially those located in developing
73. In addition to the guidelines currently under consideration, the work programme for the Fourth Strategic
Plan will include guidelines with regard to humane culling practices, suitability of culled animals for
human consumption or suitability for diversion to non-food purposes, taking also into account the
environmental and social acceptability of prevention, control, disposal and eradication measures.
74. The Organisation will also encourage the use of new tools for the identification, diagnosis and prevention
of animal diseases including genomics, proteomics and other modern technologies as they become
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 17
75. Compensation programmes have been incorporated in many countries into the system for the prevention
and control of animal diseases. Compensation for animal losses is a key factor in animal disease reporting
and control and its efficacy at least as high as that of direct control measures. Compensation measures are
aimed at promoting farmers’ cooperation in the prevention and control of animal diseases and mitigation of
economic losses for farmers by stamping out of diseased or suspected animals. The successful
development of such schemes requires the cooperation of all interested parties including farmers’
associations, veterinary practitioners, the private and financial sectors, and rural communities. The Fourth
Strategic Plan therefore includes proposals for the publication and exchange of information on different
models in place in Member Countries, covering public and private inputs including insurance schemes, and
how various combinations of these might be used. It is proposed that this would be done through the OIE
website. In order to encourage the use of compensation schemes and to influence politicians and other
decision makers, cost/benefit analyses of selected models will be undertaken and published, and the more
successful models will be promoted, through the OIE Regional Representations, for consideration by
CAPACITY BUILDING FOR NATIONAL VETERINARY SERVICES
Objective: In cooperation with partners, to strengthen the capacity of
member countries in their efforts to participate in the development of, and to
apply international standards and guidelines for animal health and welfare,
76. The Fourth Strategic Plan includes for the first time specific reference to capacity-building for Member
Countries to enable them to benefit from their membership in the OIE and the WTO and also to fulfil their
obligations of membership by meeting international standards. The inclusion of capacity building as a
strategic element also engages the OIE in fulfilling the aspirations of the Doha Ministerial Declaration so
that developing countries will be more able to take part effectively in the standards-setting activities of the
77. Implementation of capacity building activities will be done by both the OIE Headquarters and the Regional
Representations. OIE Headquarters will be mainly in charge of activities at the governmental level, e.g.,
highlighting the rights and obligations of OIE Member Countries and the tasks, responsibilities and crucial
role played by Delegates and relevant staff.
78. Because the OIE is not established as a capacity-building, funding or developmental organisation per se, its
work in this area must be as a catalyst for other bodies, international or regional, public or private, to invest
in building the capacities of the national Veterinary Services of its Member Countries5. The main current
instrument of cooperation is the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), a mechanism
established jointly by FAO, WHO, OIE, the World Bank and the WTO to support developing countries in
building a capacity to correctly apply sanitary and phytosanitary measures. OIE will also develop materials
for capacity-building and training consistent with its mandate, scope of operations and its available
resources, and in cooperation with partners as appropriate.
79. The Regional Representations will organize, if necessary with other international organisations, seminars
and courses at the regional level in all relevant technical topics in accordance with OIE priorities. The
relevant collaborating centres of the OIE for training of official veterinarians will provide educational
materials to the Regional Representations and Delegates, including information on how to benefit from the
STDF. Delegates will be encouraged to use the materials provided by the OIE to organise training courses
at the national level, with the support of the Regional Representation when appropriate.
80. One objective of capacity building will be the application at the national level of adopted OIE Standards for
Terrestrial and Aquatic Animal Diseases, and the quality and evaluation of Veterinary Services depending
on the needs of the individual countries.
The same principles that apply to capacity building for Veterinary Services should also apply in countries where the
responsibility for establishing or applying animal health measures is exercised by an organisation other than the
Veterinary Services or by an authority or agency on behalf of the Veterinary Services (See Article 188.8.131.52 of the
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 18
81. The Fourth Strategic Plan therefore establishes OIE’s role as a catalyst and major player in promoting
capacity building for national Veterinary Services through the established international funding patterns,
and especially the STDF, the Global Framework for Trans-boundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs), the
African Regional Programme for Animal Disease Control (PACE), and the African Livestock Programme
(ALIVE) with the aim of implementing OIE standards and recommendations in relevant national or
regional legislation, and strengthening compliance with standards. This includes reinforcing the
applicability of national and/or regional legislation concerning animal diseases.
82. The benefits expected from capacity building programme will be, among others:
• Facilitation of the dialogue between importing and exporting countries on health measures for safe
• Improvement of national and regional policies and programmes on prevention and control of animal
diseases and zoonoses with positive impact, mainly for developing countries, in the alleviation of
poverty, improved public health including food safety, and regional and international market access.
83. Among the priority areas for capacity building are:
• Consultation services to national Veterinary Services in Member countries;
• Establishment of on-site models for the evaluation of national Veterinary Services; disease control
and surveillance compliance; cost-effective animal disease control programs; eradication
programmes for animal diseases (including compensation measures); and evaluation of animal
health status in relation to trade issues;
• Workshops for upgrading executive skills in epidemiological surveillance, notification and control
and evaluation of Veterinary Services.
84. In addition, that training sessions for OIE Delegates (particularly new Delegates) and other relevant
national officials, and through “training the trainer” programmes at regional level are incorporated into the
work programme to be established under this strategic element.
STRENGTHENING OIE’S INFLUENCE ON POLICY DESIGN, RESEARCH AND
GOVERNANCE IN ANIMAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
Objective: To strengthen OIE’s involvement in policy design and governance
related to decision making in animal health and welfare including capacity
building, policy research, effective communication, and the “mediation” of
85. This is a newly-defined strategic area for the OIE. It brings together for planning purposes a number of
previously disparate activities that have been on-going for several years and, in some cases, a long time as
well as new activities. The reason for consolidating these activities within a single strategic area is to
provide additional synergy and therefore strength and to provide a consolidated vision for the future role of
the Organisation in influencing global, regional and national policies on animal health and welfare.
86. This strategic area foresees OIE involvement on international and regional bodies designing and supporting
policy research on:
• Improvement of vaccines and diagnostic tests in order to address better the control and eradication if
listed animal diseases;
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 19
• Improvement, through the OIE Reference Laboratories’ network of exchange of biological
materials, of world-wide knowledge of epidemiological events and to develop efficient vaccines for
animals and humans (where relevant);
• Influence the public and private sectors to support the development of new tools for the control of
animal diseases, in particular emerging diseases and diseases for which adequate tools are not
commercially available; and
• Encourage partnerships between existing OIE Reference Laboratories and laboratories in developing
countries, with donor support where relevant.
87. This strategic area also foresees the development of an effective communication programme that would
provide accurate and authoritative information on animal health and animal welfare issues to decision-
makers, veterinarians and other professionals, including farmers, and the media and public. It would
include communication in association with the risk management measures and other advice recommended
by the Organisation. Within this framework, special efforts will be made to reinforce the role and status of
the official OIE Delegates within their own countries as effective communicators of OIE policies and
standards and their ability to engage in dialogue at the national level with the authorities that represent the
country at FAO, WHO, CBD and other relevant bodies such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission or the
88. Within this new strategic area, increased emphasis will be given to the Organisation’s role to assist as a
provider of expert advice as envisaged in Article 184.108.40.206 of the Terrestrial Code, in the “mediation” of
disputes on sanitary issues affecting trade. Such assistance will be at the request of Member Countries
involved with participation on a voluntary and cost-recovery basis without affecting the rights and
obligations of Member Countries under the SPS Agreement. The OIE will seek an understanding with the
SPS Committee of the WTO to promote the use of OIE’s role in mediation as a cost-effective alternative to
the formal Dispute Settlement Procedure of the WTO.
89. In the coordination of applied research and the collection of relevant scientific information, as required by
its mandate, the OIE will continue to pursue the constant objective of gathering, using and disseminating
new information and knowledge from scientific research, based largely on its network of Collaborating
Centres and Reference Laboratories. It will continue to support and encourage applied research in all areas
where this appears necessary, classify such areas in order of priority (mainly in line with their importance
for animal disease surveillance and international trade) and support some fields of applied research if
resources permit. It will undertake to support the scientific information and research needs of the Scientific
and Code Commissions for the development of scientifically-based standards and other measures required
for improved animal health and welfare, within its resources.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 20
3 Achieving the strategic objectives
90. The five main strategic areas identified in the previous Chapter are supplemented in the Fourth Strategic
Plan by four principal cross-cutting areas aimed at achieving the objectives outlined in the previous
Chapter. The strengthening of these areas across all of the main strategic areas constitutes a major change
of emphasis between the Third and Fourth Strategic Plans. These cross-cutting areas are:
a) Strengthening the scientific basis of the Organisation’s work;
b) Increasing the attention given to zoonoses and related issues;
c) Communicating OIE information; and
d) Cooperation with partner organisations
STRENGTHENING THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF THE ORGANISATION’S WORK
91. The credibility of the OIE in providing advice to its Member Governments, the WTO, the veterinary
profession and the general public depends on the excellence of its scientific work. During the period of the
Third Strategic Plan, significant efforts were made to ensure the excellence of decision-making in the
preparation of standards relating to animal health, especially on trade related issues. The period of the
Fourth Strategic Plan will see an extension of the scientific basis to cover its work in the main strategic
areas concerning: Provision of International Animal Disease Information; Development and
Implementation of Scientifically-based Standards; and recommendations on the prevention, control and
eradication of animal diseases and zoonoses.
92. The output of the Specialist Commissions, Working Groups and Ad hoc Groups will increasingly have to
demonstrate that their decisions and recommendations have a sound scientific basis and that they have been
developed transparently, openly and inclusively. Such an emphasis will require additional resources in
order to ensure that the scientific basis is as complete as possible and able to withstand external scrutiny or
93. The Fourth Strategic Plan also foresees the allocation of resources from the Organisation’s regular budget
to support the work of the OIE Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories, especially those in
developing countries. Up until now, these laboratories have provided scientific support principally in the
confirmatory diagnoses of disease outbreaks as part of the OIE mandate to provide international animal
health information. A much greater use is foreseen of this function, but the main change that is anticipated
is the role of the Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories in underpinning the scientific decision-
making of the Organisation as a whole.
94. The OIE Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories will be required to contribute to this process.
The Work Programme of the Fourth Strategic Plan will envisage means of supporting these institutions to
develop or contribute to the excellence of the scientific basis of the Organisation’s work.
INCREASED ATTENTION TO ZOONOSES AND RELATED ISSUES
95. The Fourth Strategic Plan stresses the capacity of the Organisation to address the consequences of those
animal diseases that are also diseases in humans (zoonoses), or have the potential to be harmful to public
health. This is a cross-cutting issue involving all of the strategic objectives described in Chapter 2 and
involves some of the Organization’s strongest comparative advantages in the areas of animal disease
information, science-based standards, and advice on control and eradication measures. The OIE will
remain the key international organization providing professional science-based advice on ways to identify,
control and where possible eradicate these diseases, and will work in cooperation with other professional
international organisations such as the FAO and the WHO to achieve this.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 21
96. As has already been noted, the period of the period of the Third Strategic Plan also saw a number of
international health crises in the area of zoonoses, in particular the outbreaks of sudden acute respiratory
syndrome (SARS), continued occurrences of BSE and the occurrence of avian influenza. These zoonoses
have drawn widespread attention of politicians, the media and the general public to the role that animal
health plays in the protection of public health and food safety. Although zoonoses constitute only about
30% of animal diseases subject to OIE regulation, the control and eradication of these diseases occupies
more than 50% of the technical work of the Organisation.
97. The lessons learned from the efforts to control these diseases will form the framework for OIE’s responses
to further outbreaks of zoonoses. In particular, emphasis will be placed on effective notification of
outbreaks, on the application of standards to protect consumer’s health and international trade from risks
associated with affected animal products (and where necessary the development of new standards); and on
measures to control or eradicate these diseases from affected animal populations.
98. OIE’s responses will involve consultation and cooperative action with other partner agencies, in particular
the FAO, WHO and the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Also in this area, the work of the OIE
Reference Laboratories will need to be strengthened.
99. The OIE will also support its Member Countries that wish to improve the capacities of their national
Veterinary Services to deal with zoonoses. It will also encourage an active interface between national
Delegates and their public health counterparts on national and international approaches when dealing with
COMMUNICATING OIE INFORMATION
100. Although the communication function of the OIE has been considerably developed over the period of the
Third Strategic Plan, it is vital that it be further strengthened. The OIE is moving towards greater
transparency and this approach will continue under the Fourth Strategic Plan.
Public Information: Visibility and risk communication
101. Recent years have seen increased public interest in animal diseases, their zoonotic potential and measures
for their control, for example in the outbreaks of avian influenza. There is an acknowledged need for better
understanding by the public and the media of the animal health situation and the means of controlling
animal diseases, especially in emergency situations. Improving public information is therefore a major
strategic element for the planning period.
102. Efforts will also be made during the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan to providing technical information
and information about the work of the Organisation to the attention of members of the veterinary profession
(including those in private practice and students) to enable them to communicate factually with the public
on issues in animal health and to gain a better professional understanding of the world-wide issues in
animal health and animal welfare.
103. Accurate communication of disease risks is an essential element of the OIE communication policies. This
communication must be aimed not only at the national Veterinary Services of Member Countries, but also
at governments, industry and consumers. To this purpose, it will be necessary to strengthen the number and
the veterinary expertise of the staff belonging to the unit in charge of communication within the OIE
Headquarters, to improve the support to the Regional Representations in performing this task.
Dissemination of OIE Information
104. Transparency of OIE information is critical to the acceptance of OIE standards by Member Countries as
well as veterinary and other professionals and the general public. The adoption and implementation of the
new computer systems master plan will assist greatly in this. The Fourth Strategic Plan include a work
programme throughout the planning period to ensure that all official OIE information is available to
interested parties, for example at universities, veterinary schools, veterinary statutory bodies and private
veterinary associations, and laboratories as well as to industry (including farmers) in Member Countries.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 22
105. In addition to the work of OIE, the International Portal on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health
(IPFSAPH) will make available all official information developed by the OIE, Codex Alimentarius, the
IPPC, and the WTO on sanitary and phytosanitary matters with clear mention of the origin of the different
106. The website of the STDF, hosted by WTO, provides comprehensive information in relation to capacity
building for the implementation by member Countries of sanitary and phytosanitary standards. Continued
cooperation in these inter-agency projects is foreseen for the Fourth Strategic Plan.
107. A stronger policy of promoting OIE publications, both in hard copy and in electronic format, will be
pursued during the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan: increase in the number of recipients of OIE
Publications catalogues; increase in the number of distributors in the countries and regions; and increased
participation in international events and conferences.
108. The publications sales system will be modernised (electronic shop and contract with a specialised
company) and the OIE Web site will be made even more user-friendly.
109. During the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan, the Administrative Commission will analyse the current
content of the OIE publications catalogue including the Scientific and Technical Review and the Bulletin.
Consideration will be given to the publication of scientific conferences organised by the OIE, including
those organized in cooperation with other scientific bodies such as the FAO and the WHO. The scientific
excellence of the OIE publications will be strengthened. The mechanism leading to the choice of the
technical items addressed during the General Session and the Regional Conferences will be reviewed in
order to be in closer correlation with relevant current topics and scientific and media reporting. Experts
responsible for the presentation of technical items during the General Session and Regional Conferences
will be designated after consultation with the Director General.
Computer Systems Master Plan
110. The Computer Systems Master Plan adopted in 2004 aims at improving the animal health information
system, the administrative and financial management system, the management system of OIE documents
and publications and the internal and external communication system, in order to better meet the
expectations of Member Countries and the needs of OIE’s Departments. These information technology
tools will be operated in a technically secure environment and fully implemented during the period of the
4th Strategic Plan.
COOPERATION WITH PARTNER ORGANISATIONS
111. During the Third Strategic Plan, the OIE concluded 12 cooperative agreements with other international
organisations, most notably those with FAO, WHO and the WTO, and with professional organisations
representing the private sector (See paragraph 34). The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)
was established. The Fourth Strategic Plan foresees further inter-agency cooperation, especially in the
cross-linked areas of animal health and food safety and support for cooperative activities at regional and
sub-regional levels and more ambitious but selective cooperation with world-wide bodies representing the
private sector. There is particular interest in the work of the FAO, WHO, the Codex Alimentarius
Commission and WTO.
112. The Fourth Strategic Plan recognizes the need for cooperation with all the above-mentioned bodies,
consistent with the mandates of the organisations concerned and with the terms of the Agreements
concluded with the respective organisations. The new agreements signed with the WHO and the FAO must
be implemented with a mutual respect of the OIE’s mandates and of the above-mentioned organisations.
Particular attention will be given to the contradictory positions sometimes expressed by representatives of
the Member Countries within these organisations.
113. During the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan, consideration will be given to the convening of meetings of
representatives of the OIE and its partner agencies at the global and regional levels with a view to
promoting the objectives of the Fourth Strategic Plan and ensuring effective communication between the
OIE and interested funding and technical agencies, representatives of the professional and private sectors.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 23
These meetings would have as their main objective an improved cooperative mechanism for the delivery of
the Fourth Strategic Plan and an enhanced recognition of the role of the OIE as a strategic partner in the
delivery of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
114. The OIE Delegates will be encouraged to ensure that decisions made within the OIE are communicated to
the SPS Committee, to the Codex Committees and to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, as well as
during the ministerial meetings of the WHO and of the FAO. They will also be encouraged to make sure
that the mandates given to the OIE by its Member Countries are familiar to and respected by the other
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 24
4 Institutional arrangements
MEMBERSHIP AND RESOURCES
115. The Fourth Strategic Plan addresses three major directions under this category:
• Recruitment of new members
• Adjustment and improved recovery of contributions
• Increase in voluntary contributions from Member Countries and public and private donors.
116. There are currently 167 Member Countries of the OIE, which ranks reasonably well with the Membership
of other standards-setting bodies recognized in the SPS Agreement: 171 Members of the Codex
Alimentarius Commission (as well as the European Community) and 127 Contracting Parties to the
International Plant Protection Convention. There are 148 Members of the WTO, including the European
Community. The Fourth Strategic Plan foresees a slight increase in membership with mechanisms at the
regional level to foster the full participation of all OIE Members in the work of the Organisation.
117. On the question of assessed contributions, the Fourth Strategic Plan foresees readjustments to the design
and scale of contributions to be undertaken as a matter of priority in order to facilitate and increase the
scope and recovery of contributions from all members. However, the ability of Member Countries to
choose freely the category of obligatory contributions will remain unchanged. A modification of the
categories of contributions will therefore be proposed to the International Committee for consideration.
118. Consideration will also be given to the use of voluntary contributions by Members (including the placement
of national civil servants in the Central Bureau and Regional representations) and the increased use of
additional voluntary resources, including funding from private sources; potential to allow for sponsorship
of development of certain standards; donations from eligible private individuals and foundations; projects
with World Bank and other donors, bearing in mind the need to maintain the independence of the
119. Within the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan, the Organisation will undertake a modernization of its basic
texts, including the consolidation into the basic texts of the decisions and resolutions of the International
Committee taken in recent years and the modernization of the terminology.
CENTRAL AND REGIONAL OFFICES
120. The design of the staffing structure in the OIE will be adapted to the requirements of the Fourth Strategic
Plan. Conditions will be developed to ensure that highly qualified and experienced staff are retained and
new staff are recruited to meet the high standards of the Organisations.
121. The OIE Management will continue to use the best international procedures in order to reduce the cost of
purchase of goods and services.
122. The verification work the two auditors of the Administrative Commission elected by the International
Committee have to perform will be organised in such a way as to enable them to consecrate all the
necessary time to this task, in addition to controls currently provided by internal and external audit
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 25
123. The Fourth Strategic Plan will pay considerable attention to regional and sub-regional matters and the
specific concerns of the Regional Commissions. During the planning period the roles and responsibilities
of Regional Representatives, Regional Commissions and the OIE Headquarters will be clarified and the
relations between will be better defined. Major proposals include:
• Continuing strengthening the role of Regional Commissions and better defining their relations with
the Regional Representations and the OIE Headquarters and extending cooperation between the OIE
Regional Representations and Regional Commissions;
• Establishment, when relevant, of additional sub-Regional bureaux under the authority of the relevant
Regional Representation, according to needs and subject to the availability of resources, as well as
sub-regional Focal Points; and
• Clarifying the organic rules for proposing and establishing regional Ad hoc Groups of experts.
124. The work programme of the Fourth Strategic Plan outlines a continuing strategy to resolve the different
questions concerning regional institutional arrangements, including the budgetary provisions, be adopted by
the mid-point of the planning period, and implemented by the end of the planning period. This includes:
• Better definition of the mandates of the Regional Commissions and the Regional Representations
including their respective responsibilities;
• Including resources for regional activities in the Regular Budget of the OIE based on both
compulsory, voluntary and other contributions;
• Consideration of mechanisms to involve Regions in concrete action and policy development and, as
appropriate, to harmonize the activities of the Regional Representatives; and
• Improved arrangements for meetings of the elected members of the Bureaux of the Regional
Commissions in the presence of the Regional Representative (with appropriate finance).
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE, ADMINISTRATIVE COMMISSION, REGIONAL
COMMISSIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS
The International Committee
125. The International Committee of the OIE is the Organisation’s supreme governing body and consists of the
annual General Assembly of the official Delegates appointed by the OIE’s Member Countries. In order to
strengthen its role as the governing body of the Organisation, a review of its functions and operations will
be undertaken by the Director General of the OIE and the Administrative Commission. The review will
involve all Member Countries at the senior government level and will address, among other matters, how to
highlight the importance of the role and functions of the official Delegates appointed by governments to the
126. The respective responsibilities of the Director General, the President and the Administrative Commission
will be reviewed and, if necessary, clarified on the basis of the statutes of the OIE at the first meeting of the
Administrative Commission following the adoption of this Strategic Plan (in 2006). A study will be
undertaken to identify and analyse the possible options including modification of the basic texts of the OIE
(See para. 119, above). The most efficient management model for the OIE will be selected and applied.
127. Efforts will be made to facilitate the visa arrangements for travel to OIE meetings by official Delegates and
elected members of the Administrative and Specialist Commissions.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 26
128. The Regional Commissions play important roles. Their main task is to assist Member Countries to fully
and actively participate in the OIE, and to derive the benefits of such participation. The second principal
task is to assist in adapting OIE recommendations, strategies, programs and activities to the prevailing
conditions and needs of the individual regions and, where necessary, sub-regions. The Regional
Commissions provide for coordination and continuity for these tasks at the regional level. The Regional
Commissions are official legal bodies recognized as such by the International Committee and by all
countries in their respective Regions, and constituted also by ministerial decisions. They provide general
orientation on OIE policies on animal health and animal welfare at a regional level. These
recommendations are all submitted to the International Committee for endorsement. They then become
subject to implementation by the Director General.
129. Regional Commissions have the strategic objective of strengthening the capacities of Veterinary Services in
the areas of provision of animal health information, sanitary safety in regional and international trade; the
development of such trade; the protection of animal health, animal welfare and public health; and for
achieving a greater contribution of livestock to the national economy by contributing to international
exchanges in poverty alleviation. The new Plan will specify how the elected bureaux of the Regional
Commissions can be better involved in the co-governance of the Regional Representations under the
guidance of the Director General. In this regard, the mandates of the Regional Commissions will be
strengthened by clarifying the relationships between the Regional Commissions and the OIE Regional
130. For example, in the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan, the Regional Commission for Africa will make
more visible the existence of the OIE in Africa and in the World and reinforce the technical capacities of
the Regional OIE Africa Representation in Bamako by seeking funds to that effect. Sub-regional
representations, which will report to the Bamako office will be established for North Africa and Southern
131. The OIE Regional Representations will pursue their activities, reporting directly to the Director General.
The latter will verify that the work programmes of these Representations correspond to those adopted by
the OIE Regional Commissions and that the administrative and financial management of these
Representations conform to the Mandates and Regulations adopted by the International Committee in 1995
(Resolution XIX). In particular, the Director General will ensure absolute transparency in the management
of voluntary contributions provided for the operation of these Regional Representations and total
independence for the OIE Representations with respect to the national authorities of their host countries.
132. The Regional Representations will be called upon to play an active role in the new strategic area of
capacity building, in particular in facilitating the training of Delegates both in regard to their status as
representatives of their countries at meetings of the International Committee and other OIE bodies as well
as their role and obligations within their own countries. The Regional Representatives will also be called
upon to provide information and training to for Delegates in the important function of ensuring that official
OIE positions are taken into account at the national level when formulating national inputs to the work of
the FAO, WHO, WTO, the Codex Alimentarius Commission and other bodies whose work has an impact
on the work of the OIE.
133. The resources made available to the regional bodies of the OIE will be strengthened by making use of all
potential forms of resources including trust funds and the secondment of staff. This strengthening will take
the form of permanent contacts with international and regional specialised financial organisations through
which the Director General can identify, negotiate and mobilise funding to support projects in the regions
and the Veterinary Services in Member Countries which request such assistance. Member Countries in the
region in question will be informed on a regular basis of the activities of their Representation.
Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories
134. The obligations of the Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories were reviewed and defined during
the period of the Third Strategic Plan. During the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan they will continue to
pursue their work in accordance with their Mandates and Internal Rules.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 27
135. As described in Chapter 3, the Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories will be called upon during
the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan to play an increasingly important role in ensuring the scientific
excellence of the Organization’s decision-making. Where appropriate and depending on available
resources, they will receive the support of the OIE when they are made responsible for certain research
work considered to be a priority for the health security of international trade. An important approach for
enhancing the capacities of the Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories is the “twinning” of
laboratories working on similar disease issues in a manner that gives mutual support to the capacities of
SPECIALIST COMMISSIONS, WORKING GROUPS AND AD HOC GROUPS
136. The OIE Specialist Commissions, Working Groups and Ad hoc Groups rely on the services of recognized
experts highly competent in their respective fields. This level of excellence underpins the principal
knowledge base of the OIE. The OIE will continue to try to secure the highest level of scientific expertise
from around the world to ensure that its knowledge base represents inputs from all of its regions.
137. The experts participating in Specialist Commissions, Working Groups and Ad hoc Groups do so without
additional remuneration and their services are granted to the OIE by their employer or institution without
charge, other than the costs of travel and per diem expenses. This level of voluntary support ensures both
the independence of the scientific opinion and the ability of the OIE to take on the wide variety of animal
health and animal welfare issues demanded of it by its Member Countries.
138. The Member Countries which accept to also cover the travel and per diem expenses of their experts are of
course encouraged to pursue this policy in the interest of the OIE. It is recommended that other Member
Countries should follow this example.
139. New terms of reference, aimed at clarifying and strengthening the competence of each of the Commissions
have been adopted and the number of Working Groups and Ad hoc Groups in support of these
Commissions has been increased. It is expected that oversight of the work of the Specialist Commissions,
Working Groups and Ad hoc Groups will form a continuing element of the Fourth Strategic Plan.
140. The standards development activities of the Specialist Commissions, Working Groups, Ad hoc Groups and
discussions at Scientific Conferences convened at the request of the Specialist Commissions will be
supported by increasing the resources of the current special account established for this purpose to enhance
the active participation of experts from developing countries and the private sector, using both regular
budget, voluntary contributions and other external resources.
141. Within the period covered by the Fourth Strategic Plan the outputs of the Specialist Commissions,
especially in regard to standards development and the provision of scientific advice will be fully
documented and published so that the decisions of the Specialist Commissions will be readily
understandable by all interested parties (see Box). Criteria for the establishment of Ad hoc Groups will
also be published.
REPORTING THE SCIENTIFIC WORK OF THE OIE
In order to guarantee the transparency, excellence and efficacy of the Specialist Commissions, as well as the
full participation of Member Countries in the elaboration of the OIE standards, the following procedure for
document circulation will be used:
Ad Hoc Group meetings
Finalised reports of Ad hoc Group meetings of experts are to be sent:
• to Members of the responsible Specialist Commission for information, and for discussion at the next
Commission or Bureau meeting;
• if relevant, to members of the responsible Working Group for information, and for discussion at the next
Working Group meeting or via an electronic forum; the report is then to be sent to the responsible
Specialist Commission with working group comments, for discussion at the next Commission or Bureau
• to other relevant OIE Departments and from them to any relevant Specialist Commission president(s), for
information and for comment to the responsible Commission.
At this time, they are not placed on the OIE Web site nor in the Bulletin.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 28
Working Group meetings
Finalised reports of working Group meetings are to be sent:
• to Members of the responsible Commission for information, and for discussion at the next Commission or
• to other relevant OIE Departments and from them to any relevant Specialist Commission president(s), for
information and for comment to the responsible Commission.
At this time, they are not placed on the OIE Web site nor in the Bulletin.
Meetings of the Specialist Commissions
Reports of Specialist Commission meetings are to contain the full reports of the meetings of the Working
Groups and Ad hoc Groups for which the Commission is responsible.
An unofficial version of Commission reports, in English only, is to be circulated by e-mail to Delegates and
placed on the Delegates’ Web site, as soon as possible after each meeting. At the same time, these reports are
to be sent by e-mail to international organisations with which the OIE has a formal agreement.
After translation into French and Spanish, the official versions of Commission reports (in the three languages)
are to be circulated by e-mail and mail to Delegates and to the international organisations with which the OIE
has a formal agreement, and placed on the OIE public Web site. At this time, references to the reports of
Commission meetings are to be published in the Bulletin.
After each General Session, a report of any changes agreed by the International Committee (for example the
relevant Resolution(s)) is to be placed on the OIE public Web site adjacent to the relevant Commission reports.
142. The respective tasks and responsibilities of the four OIE Specialist Commissions, whose members are
elected every three years by the International Committee, are defined in the statutes. They will not be
modified, but the activities of the members of these Commissions will be refocused.
143. To the extent that it is consistent with their mandates, all Specialist Commissions will address questions
relating to the malicious or intentional use of biological agents to disrupt trade or to threaten animal or
Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases
144. The Commission will emphasise its role as the scientific point of reference concerning the prevention and
surveillance of animal diseases, in order to control diseases and determine animal health status and to
answer to any request of other specialist Commissions related to scientific questions.
145. When Member Countries wish, on a strictly voluntary basis, to have their territory or a zone of their
territory recognised as free from the four animal diseases currently specified by the International
Committee (foot and mouth disease, rinderpest, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and contagious bovine
pleuropneumonia), their candidacy will be examined by Ad hoc Groups dealing with each of the 4 current
diseases. These groups will be comprised of independent consultants designated by the OIE, which will
report its conclusions to the Commission after discussions, if necessary, with the applicant country. The
Commission will verify that conclusions are relevant and in conformity to the OIE guidelines and will then
issue a final opinion on the requests presented to the OIE. In certain cases, the Commission may decide to
undertake a verification of the findings. The opinion of the Commission will be submitted for comments by
Member Countries before final adoption by the International Committee (except in the case of fast track
procedures already or to be decided by the International Committee.) See also paragraph 70 on the matter
of diseases subject to this process.
Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission ("Code Commission")
146. The Commission will work to ensure the Terrestrial Code continues to be a first-class tool for Member
Countries to use in the development of their import regulations in line with the principles in the WTO SPS
Agreement. Modernisation and updating of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code will be actively pursued
and older standards will be reviewed to ensure that they are based on scientific principles and risk
assessment as appropriate to the circumstances; where necessary and scientifically justified to ensure the
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 29
safety of international trade, standards will include measures specifically addressing commodities. Products
of animal origin which do not present risk for international trade with regard to specific diseases shall be
listed in the Code in a manner as clear and visible as possible. The Terrestrial Code shall continue to state
that the use of its standards by Member Countries should be their first option as compared to other methods
such as the use of risk analysis. The main role of OIE standards in ensuring the safety of international trade
will be reaffirmed. The Commission will continue to oversee the work of the Working Groups on Animal
Welfare and Food Safety. The financial resources needed to support the work of the Commission will be
increased. Human resources will also be increased, notably by fostering the use of temporary and
permanent experts made available to the OIE by its Member Countries.
Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission
147. The same principles that apply to the work of the Terrestrial Code Commission will also apply to the
Aquatic Animals Commission. It will continue to prepare, and update as required, OIE international health
standards for international trade in aquatic animals and their products, as well as on the diagnostic and
surveillance techniques required to ensure the safety of such trade. It will pursue its efforts to provide
information and disease control methods on aquatic animal diseases.
148. During the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan, the Commission will seek opportunities to identify more
aquatic disease reference laboratories with a view to obtaining additional expert advice on aquatic animal
diseases so as to accelerate its work programme.
Biological Standards Commission
149. The Commission will work to complete and update the Manual of Standards for Diagnostic Tests and
Vaccines. The Commission will strengthen its work on the recognition of diagnostic tests and kits including
those of commercial origin, and on the quality of vaccines. It will continue its work on means to minimize
the possibility of the development of antimicrobial resistance. It will also provide advice to the OIE on
strengthening Reference Laboratories capacities on applied research mainly through inter-Reference
Laboratories twinning programmes of Reference Laboratories so as to strengthen the world-wide capacity
in these areas. This Commission will also answer to any request from other Specialist Commissions in the
field of its competencies.
150. In the areas of veterinary drugs, including antimicrobials, the Commission will strengthen its liaison with
the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods and with programme on International
Cooperation on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal
Products (VICH) so as to implement the recommendations of these bodies on a world-wide scale. A focal
point on Veterinary Drugs and Vaccines will be nominated by OIE Delegates within each Member
Working Group on Wildlife Diseases
151. Due to the increasing number of problems associated with the detection, notification, surveillance and
control of diseases spread by, or with reservoirs amongst, wild animals, the role of this Working Group has
grown constantly since its creation in 1991. Its work in the fields of gathering information on wild animal
diseases and on the standardisation of diagnostic techniques and control measures against such diseases will
thus be pursued and strengthened. This Group will report to the Scientific Commission and work in close
collaboration with the Terrestrial Code Commission, and the Biological Standards Commission.
Working Group on Animal Production Food Safety
152. The Working Group on Animal Production Food Safety was established during the period of the Third
Strategic Plan (2002). During the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan, it will continue to work with other
relevant organisations, especially the Codex Alimentarius Commission, in reducing food-borne risks to
human health due to hazards arising from animals. In this context, a hazard is defined as a biological,
chemical or physical agent in food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect in humans, whether
or not it causes disease in animals. The Working Group will continue its programme for the development of
standards on animal production food safety covering pre-slaughter issues and those prior to the first
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 30
transformation of animal products, with a primary focus on food safety measures applicable at the farm
level. This work will include hazards which do not normally cause disease in animals. The development of
a “Guide to Good Farming Practices” in order to address public health risks arising from hazards at the
farm level and of guidelines on the “Control of hazards of public health and animal health importance
through ante- and post-mortem meat inspection” are examples of the tasks. The Working Group will also
provide advice to the OIE on the inter-related roles and functionalities of veterinary and food safety or
public health services and agencies through the publication of Guidelines on “The Role and Functionality
of Veterinary Services in Food Safety throughout the Food Chain”.
153. The Working Group will form the focal point for cooperation with the Codex Alimentarius Commission,
WHO and FAO on food safety issues, and relevant Codex Committees to avoid gaps and inconsistencies
between the standards of the OIE and the Codex.
Working Group on Animal Welfare
154. The Working Group on Animal Welfare was established by the International Committee in 2002 to provide
international leadership in animal welfare through the development of science-based standards and
guidelines, to provide expert advice and to promote relevant education and research through:
• Promotion of science-based understanding of animal welfare,
• Use of appropriate expertise;
• Consultation with relevant stakeholders;
• Recognition of regional and cultural dimensions;
• Liaison with academic and research institutions.
155. In the period of the Fourth Strategic Plan, the Working Group will continue to oversee the development of
standards and guidelines within the framework of the Guiding Principles and Policies adopted by the OIE
in 2004 and continue to develop and communicate scientifically-based information on animal welfare
issues to all interested parties. The welfare of aquatic animals will be included in this programme.
Ad hoc Groups
156. The Ad hoc Groups systematically report to the Working Group or Specialist Commission which has
requested its expert advice. The reports of ad hoc groups will be published in appendices to the reports of
the Specialist Commissions. The Specialist Commissions are the only ones to propose draft standards to the
International Committee for adoption.
157. Any Ad hoc Groups needed to provide information or technical support for the work of the Specialist
Commissions and Working Groups will be formed as required by the Director General. The principal
requirements for the selection of experts in these groups are international recognition, excellence,
geographic balance and availability under the conditions of the OIE (See paragraph 136). In cases where it
proves more effective than organising traditional meetings of such groups, OIE will create ‘virtual teams’
composed of international experts who will be consulted electronically and/or through video conferencing
to minimise the need for physical meetings.
158. The Fourth Strategic Plan foresees a need to re-constitute, as an Ad hoc group, the former Working Group
on Biotechnology which ceased its work in 2000, with a new and broader mandate to consider new
technologies, such as xenotransplantation, transgenics and nanotechnologies that are expected to become
important within the period 2006-2010. This Group will concentrate on collecting and analysing
information on these technologies applicable to the surveillance and control of animal diseases. It will work
closely with the Biological Standards Commission on the international standardisation of diagnostic
techniques and the development of new drugs and vaccines.
159. Given the increasing importance of emerging and re-emerging diseases (especially zoonoses), an Ad hoc
Group will be created to work on this issue. It will report to Scientific Commissions, in close collaboration
with the Code Commission.
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 31
5 Preparation of the Director General’s
programme of work
160. The adoption of the Fourth Strategic Plan will be followed by the preparation of an initial Programme of
Work that gives effect to the objectives enunciated in the Plan. This will be submitted by the Director-
General for adoption to the International Committee in 2006. This Programme of Work will address the
resource requirements of the OIE to ensure that its human and financial resources are fully adequate for
implementing the recommendations of the new Strategic Plan.
161. Firstly, the OIE must increase the number of permanent staff in the OIE headquarters and in the Regional
162. The second issue to be tackled concerns the human and financial resources allotted to the participation of
OIE representatives to the various relevant international and regional meetings, essential for discussing
scientific issues and subsequent new standards and guidelines, as well as the costs related to the
organisation of international scientific conferences proposed by the OIE.
163. The third and last issue to be addressed concerns the resources to be allotted to the Reference Laboratories
in order for them to perform in a more effective manner the mandates with which they have been invested
by the International Committee and to be able to carry out priority applied research programmes on disease
control methods and animal welfare.
164. With respect to the OIE permanent staff, on 1 January 2005, the OIE Headquarters employed 45 personnel
of 24 different nationalities and the five Regional Representations and the SEAFMD Unit employed 18
personnel of 9 different nationalities. It is estimated that the implementation of the current Strategic Plan
will require the recruitment of 8 additional staff at the Headquarters and 6 additional staff within the
Regional Representations and SEAFMD Unit.
165. The recourse to Trust Funds and other sources of funding will be systematic, especially to support the
participation of experts from developing countries in the elaboration and negotiation of international
standards, as well as for scientific conferences and training programmes for Delegates and national
Fourth OIE Strategic Plan: 2006 – 2010 Page 32