The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)
We are an intergovernmental organisation working across borders to improve the health of animals and therefore, our future .
The Organisation was founded as a response to a cattle plague called rinderpest, which swept across the globe, ravaging livestock and devastating livelihoods. The crisis clearly demonstrated how animal diseases can pose a threat to food security and economic growth, and that the global community needed to address them in a coordinated way.
Our creation stems from an International Agreement to fight infectious animal diseases in solidarity with our 182 Members.
Headquartered in Paris, the Organisation maintains permanent relations with over 70 international and regional organisations and has Regional and Sub-regional Offices worldwide.
Together, the Organisation and its Members coordinate the global response to animal health emergencies, the prevention of zoonotic diseases, the promotion of animal health and welfare, and better access to animal health care.
We advocate for sustainable development by promoting safe international trade that fosters collaboration and transparency.
We improve animal health globally, thereby ensuring a better future for all.
We help policymakers and governments create a future in which humans and animals benefit and support each other so that livelihoods are transformed, economies are boosted and the world is safer and healthier for everyone. We do that by improving animal health, globally.
We have adopted a strategic planning for our five-year work programme.
We are living in a constantly changing environment, confronting animal health professionals with new and more complex challenges, driven by climate change, globalisation, the growing human population.
Covering the period from 2021 to 2025, our Seventh Strategic Plan leverages our experience and expertise to foster improvements in global animal health governance and to better prepare for emerging health threats.
We are governed by the World Assembly of Delegates consisting of national representatives designated by each Member government. The Asseimbly itself is represented by a Council.
Structured around different governance bodies, our daily operations are managed from our Headquarters in Paris under the leadership of our Director General, who is elected by the World Assembly of Delegates for a five-year term. The Organisation also has regional offices in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East.
We collaborate with numerous experts worldwide, through our Specialist Commissions, expert Working Groups, topical Ad hoc Groups and our network of Reference Centres to review and pursue scientific and technical developments.
We work with 182 Members, to protect the health of animals, humans and the planet.
Our Members are committed to applying our animal health and welfare standards. Each of them appoints a representative to our Organisation, the national Delegate, who is often the Chief Veterinary Officer, working in the country’s agriculture or health ministry.
Collaborate with us
We welcome sustainable partnerships to support our Membership in the implementation of their national animal health plans through our World Animal Health and Welfare Fund (World Fund).
Through this multi-donor trust fund we collect and manage voluntary contributions from Members (in addition to their statutory contributions) and from intergovernmental organisations, philanthropic foundations, the private sector and other sources.