Founded 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 Members regarding their disease-specific animal health status, if a Member wishes to be included in the WOAH official list of Members with a recognised diseases status for certain diseases (see WOAH ‘Disease-free’ status and ‘Disease-free’ recognition procedures). The Commission is elected by the World Assembly of Delegates for a three year term.
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 Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases shall be:
1. To maintain and exchange information on all aspects of terrestrial animal diseases, and to assess recent developments in the practical problems of control and eradication of infectious diseases and the impact of these developments.
2. To provide scientific guidance to the WOAH on the development of policies relating to the assessment and control of diseases, notably those with the potential to affect trade in terrestrial animals and their products or affect human health.
3. To assist the Director General in improving the collection, use and interpretation of statistical information on terrestrial animal diseases, including emerging diseases, for the benefit of WOAH Member Countries.
4. To provide up-to-date scientific information to the Director General and the other WOAH Specialist Commissions, gathered through its own resources or in consultation with scientists, experts and Ad hoc Groups.
5. To advise and assist the Director General on problems relating to such diseases, including problems of disease control at the regional and global level.
6. To propose procedures for formally recognising the animal health status of WOAH Member Countries.
7. To undertake, on behalf of the Assembly, an assessment of applications by WOAH Member Countries on the status of compliance with WOAH standards for animal health status.
8. 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.
9. To advise the Director General on the composition and the activities of the Working Group on Wildlife Diseases and to coordinate its work.
10. To examine applications from Member Countries relating to the creation of new WOAH Reference Centres with activities corresponding to the Commission’s scientific terms of reference and report its findings to the Director General.
11. To provide, on request of the Director General, technical advice on proposals for the twinning of Reference Centres under Cooperative Capacity Building (“Twinning”) Agreements.
12. To advise the Director General on the status of the lists of the WOAH experts and Reference Centres.
13. To reply to relevant queries relating to the methods for the control of terrestrial animal diseases.
14. To represent the WOAH at scientific and specialised conferences upon the request of the Director General.
15. To work closely with the “Code Commission” to harmonize the standards, guidelines and other draft texts submitted to the Assembly for adoption.
Qualifications of the members
The members of the Commission shall be specialists internationally recognised in a field relevant to the control of infectious diseases of animals and shall have appropriate experience in animal disease control.
The members of the Commission should have a Curriculum Vitae and scientific publication record appropriate to an international specialist in a field or fields relevant to the control of infectious diseases of animals.
Dr. Cristóbal Zepeda
President, SCAD Specialist Commission; Regional Manager, Latin America and the Caribbean
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Dr. Trevor Drew
Vice President, SCAD Specialist Commission
Dr. Kris De Clercq
Vice President, SCAD Specialist Commission
Dr. Silvia Bellini
Staff Director, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna
Dr. Misheck Mulumba
Senior Manager Research, Agricultural Research Council
Dr. Baptiste Dungu
Veterinary Specialist, Afrivet Business Management
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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 WildlifeOverview Founded 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…Discover