The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE) helps its Member Countries to develop animal welfare policies and governance structures by providing them with training, advice, and research and analysis on the strategies implemented. It provides countries with recommendations on how to include animal welfare in national legislation and how to implement existing standards. It also collaborates with relevant regional and international organisations to ensure that private-sector standards (including commercial standards) on animal welfare are compatible with its own standards.
Regional Animal Welfare Strategies
Through its Regional Representations, WOAH supports the development of regional animal welfare strategies, which are valuable tools that helps countries implement standards while recognising regional context and priorities. The content of these strategies is adapted to each region, but the overall goal is to provide guidance and a common framework for the development of action plans to be implemented at regional level. This initiative began in 2012 in the Asia Pacific region.
Links between the public and private sectors
WOAH worked in close collaboration with the ISO on the development of the 2016 ISO standard ‘Animal welfare management — General requirements and guidance for organizations in the food supply chain’ (ISO/TS 34700:2016) that provides requirements and guidance for the implementation of the animal welfare principles as described in the introduction to the recommendations for animal welfare of the WOAH Terrestrial Code (Chapter 7.1). This ISO standard is intended to support the implementation of appropriate practices to ensure animal welfare in livestock production systems. It provides businesses working in the food-supply chain with a means of demonstrating their commitment to animal welfare.
WOAH also works closely with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on relevant aspects of animal welfare, in particular ensuring alignment between IATA regulations and the Terrestrial Code (Chapter 7.4.) ‘Transport of animal by air’. IATA has developed Live Animal Regulations, which have become the global standard for the transport of live animals by commercial airline companies. Compliance with WOAH and IATA recommendations ensures risks to animal health and welfare are managed appropriately.