Biological Standards Commission

Founded in 1949, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE) Biological Standards Commission (BSC), composed of six elected members, is concerned with developing internationally agreed standards for laboratory diagnostic tests and vaccines for WOAH-listed animal diseases of mammals, birds and bees.


Founded in 1949, the WOAH Biological Standards Commission (BSC), composed of six elected members, is concerned with developing internationally agreed standards for laboratory diagnostic tests and vaccines for WOAH-listed animal diseases of mammals, birds and bees. To achieve this, its major activities are:

  • To establish or approve methods for diagnosing diseases of mammals, birds and bees and for manufacture and testing of biological products, such as vaccines; and to advise WOAH on the appropriate use of diagnostic tests and vaccines;

  • An important element in this is the development and supervision of the WOAH Register of Diagnostic Assays;

  • To oversee production of the Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals;

  • To select WOAH Reference Laboratories for diseases of mammals, birds and bees, and to communicate with these laboratories as a source of specialist expertise;

  • To promote the international standardisation of diagnostic tests, including the preparation and distribution of standard reagents.

Neither the WOAH nor the Commission distributes reagents directly, but provides contact points in the Reference Laboratories where such materials may be obtained.

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Terms of reference

Taking into account the periodic Strategic Plans adopted by the Assembly, pertinent Resolutions of the Assembly and the annual work plans approved by the Assembly, the terms of reference of the WOAH Biological Standards Commission shall be:

1. To propose methods for the diagnosis and prevention of diseases with respect to international trade or movement of terrestrial animals or their products, particularly diseases included in the WOAH Terrestrial Animal Health Code (the Terrestrial Code ).

2. To define standards for biological products, diagnostic preparations, vaccines and immune sera relating to terrestrial animals.

3. To assess and approve applications for the registration of commercial diagnostic kits.

4. To provide, upon request by the Assembly or the Director General standard technical procedures for other activities included in the Terrestrial Code.

5. To keep the Director General and the Assembly, informed of advances in scientific knowledge that could have implications for the diagnosis and prevention of terrestrial animal diseases and to make recommendations on amendments or additions to the Terrestrial Code, as appropriate.

6. To respond to questions relating to their field of competence from the Director General and the Assembly, and collaborate with the other WOAH Specialist Commissions and Working Groups.

7. To edit the WOAH Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals (the Manual) relating to terrestrial animals.

8. To develop concepts and tools for capacity building of the veterinary scientific community in particular in developing countries.

9. To examine applications from Member Countries relating to the creation of new WOAH Reference Centres with activities corresponding to the Commission’s scientific mandate and report its findings to the Director General.

10. To advise the Director General on the status of the lists of the WOAH experts and Reference Centres.

11. To facilitate, and work with, Reference Centres to achieve WOAH’s mandate.

12. To provide, on request of the Director General, technical advice on proposals for the twinning of Reference Centres under Cooperative Capacity Building (“Twinning”) Agreements.

13. To identify issues that require in-depth review and propose, to the  Director General, the composition and terms of reference of experts or Ad hoc Groups of experts convened specifically to study such issues, and if necessary, to participate in the work of these Groups.

14. To represent the WOAH at scientific and specialised conferences upon the request of the Director General.

Qualifications of the Members


The members of the Commission shall be internationally recognised specialists in the field of infectious terrestrial animal diseases diagnosis and/or prevention, particularly in laboratory methods and operations.


The members of the Commission shall have international experience, at the regional or global level, in the area of laboratory diagnosis and/or immunological prevention of infectious animal diseases.


The members of the Commission shall have specialised training in laboratory diagnosis of terrestrial animal disease.


E Couacy-HymannProf. Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann (President)
Cullianane AnnProf. Ann Cullinane
John PasickDr John Pasick
Chris OuraDr Chris Oura
Joseph KeefeDr Joseph S. O’Keefe
satoko kawajiDr Satoko Kawaji


September 2022A_BSC_sept2022.pdf (489 Kb)
February 2022A_BSC_feb2022_Part_A.pdf (377 Kb)
A_BSC_feb2022_Part_B.pdf (713 Kb)
September 2021A_BSC_sept2021.pdf (867 Kb)
February 2021A_BSC_feb2021_Part_A.pdf (491 Kb)
A_BSC_feb2021_Part_B.pdf (841 Kb)
September 2020A_BSC_sept2020.pdf (991 Kb)
February 2020A_BSC_feb2020.pdf (2060 Kb)
September 2019A_BSC_Sept2019.pdf (768 Kb)
February 2019A_BSC_feb2019.pdf (1126 Kb)
September 2018A_BSC_Sept2018.pdf (690 Kb)
February 2018A_BSC_feb2018.pdf (1589 Kb)
September 2017A_BSC_Sept2017.pdf (3040 Kb)
February 2017A_BSC_feb2017.pdf (2070 Kb)
September 2016A_BSC_Sept2016.pdf (711 Kb)
February 2016A_BSC_feb2016.pdf (1870 Kb)
September 2015A_BSC_Sept2015.pdf (246 Kb)
January 2015A_BSC_jan2015.pdf (1470 Kb)
September 2014A_BSC_Sept2014.pdf (1331 Kb)
February 2014A_BSC_feb2014.pdf (743 Kb)
September 2013A_BSC_Sept2013.pdf (1251 Kb)
February 2013A_BSC_feb2013.pdf (849 Kb)
September 2012A_BSC_Sept2012.pdf (488 Kb)
February 2012A_BSC_feb2012.pdf (245 Kb)
September 2011A_BSC_Sept2011.pdf (846 Kb)
February 2011A_BSC_feb2011.pdf (423 Kb)
September 2010A_BSC_Sept2010.pdf (529 Kb)
Janvier 2010A_BSC_jan2010.pdf (736 Kb)
September 2009A_BSC_Sept2009.pdf(512 Kb)
February 2009A_BSC_Feb2009.pdf (512 Kb)
September 2008A_BSC_sept2008.pdf (942 Kb)
January 2008A_BSC_Jan2008.pdf (619 Kb)
September 2007A_BSC_sept2007.pdf (726 Kb)
January 2007A_BSC_Jan2007.pdf (1444 Kb)
September 2006A_BSC_2006S.pdf (563 Kb)
January 2006A_BSC_Jan2006.pdf (1648 Kb)