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.
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.
Dr. Emmanuel Couacy-Hyman
President, Biological Standards Commission; Professor of Virology
Dr. John Pasick
Vice President, Biological Standards Commission
Prof. Ann Cullinane
Vice President, Biological Standards Commission; Head of the Virology Unit
Dr. Satoko Kawaji
Principal Scientist, Division of Infectious Animal Disease Research (Bacteria Group)
Dr. Joseph O’Keefe
Head, Animal Health Laboratory, Ministry for Primary Industries
Dr. Chris Oura
Professor of Veterinary Virology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
|February 2023||A_BSC_feb2023.pdf (1271 Kb)|
|September 2022||A_BSC_sept2022.pdf (489 Kb)|
|February 2022||A_BSC_feb2022_Part_A.pdf (377 Kb)|
A_BSC_feb2022_Part_B.pdf (713 Kb)
|September 2021||A_BSC_sept2021.pdf (867 Kb)|
|February 2021||A_BSC_feb2021_Part_A.pdf (491 Kb)|
A_BSC_feb2021_Part_B.pdf (841 Kb)
|September 2020||A_BSC_sept2020.pdf (991 Kb)|
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Download Zip: BSC Draft Chapters, March 2023
Terrestrial Code and Manual
Reference LaboratoriesThe Reference Laboratories are designated to pursue all the scientific and technical problems relating to a named disease. The Expert, responsible to WOAH and its Member Countries with regard to the disease, should be a leading and active researcher helping the Reference Laboratory to provide scientific and technical assistance and expert advice on topics linked to diagnosis and control of the disease for which the Reference Laboratory is responsible. Reference Laboratories should also provide scientific and technical training for personnel from Member Countries, and coordinate scientific and technical studies in collaboration with other laboratories or organisations, including through the Laboratory Twinning programme.Discover
Collaborating CentresWOAH maintains a network of Collaborating Centres for the purposes of providing scientific expertise and support to the WOAH and its Members, and for promoting international collaboration on animal health and welfare. Collaborating Centres are designated for a specific specialty within a focus area relating to the management of general questions on animal health issues. In its designated specialty, they must provide their expertise internationally (see WOAH Terms of Reference and Internal Rules for Collaborating Centres).Discover
Animal Health and WelfareLike human health, animal health is complex and is faced with ever-evolving challenges. Thanks to the advances in technology, medicine and science, innovative solutions can be used to address animal diseases threats, whether they affect terrestrial animals, aquatic animals or wildlife. Animal health is a key component of animal welfare. Animal health professionals are the key actors in charge of optimising the physical and behavioural health and welfare of animals. They contribute to prevent, treat and control diseases which can affect an individual animal or even whole animal populations.Discover
Official Disease StatusSince 1998, the World Organisation for Animal Health has the mandate from the WTO to officially recognise disease-free areas of countries for trade purposes. The procedure for the official recognition of animal health status by WOAH is voluntary and applies currently to six diseasesDiscover
Other Commissions and Working Groups
Aquatic Animal Health Standards CommissionThe Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission (the Aquatic Animals Commission), created in 1960, is responsible for ensuring that the Aquatic Animal Health Code (the Aquatic Code) and Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (the Aquatic Manual) reflect current scientific information.Discover
Scientific CommissionFounded in 1946 and composed of six members, the Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases (Scientific Commission) assists in identifying the most appropriate strategies and measures for disease prevention and control. It is also responsible for examining voluntary requests from WOAH (founded as OIE) Members regarding their disease-specific animal health status.Discover
Code CommissionThe Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission (the Code Commission), which was created in 1960, is responsible for ensuring that the Terrestrial Animal Health Code (the Terrestrial Code ) reflects current scientific information. The Terrestrial Code contains trade standards for terrestrial animals and their products.Discover
Working Group on WildlifeFounded in 1994, this Working Group informs and advises the WOAH on all health problems relating to wild animals, whether in the wild or in captivity. It has prepared recommendations and oversees numerous scientific publications on the surveillance and control of the most important specific wildlife diseases. The Working Group comprises world-leading scientific experts in their subject areas.Discover