Terrestrial Animal Health Code

Contents | Index Guide Chapter 1.1.


For the purposes of the Terrestrial Code:


means a mammal, reptile, bird or bee.

animal for breeding or rearing

means a domesticated or confined animal which is not intended for slaughter within a short time.

animal for slaughter

means an animal intended for slaughter within a short time, under the control of the relevant Veterinary Authority.

animal handler

means a person with a knowledge of the behaviour and needs of animals who, with appropriate experience and a professional and positive response to an animal’s needs, can achieve effective management and good welfare. Competence should be gained through formal training or practical experience.

animal health management

means a system designed to optimise the physical and behavioural health and welfare of animals. It includes the prevention, treatment and control of diseases and conditions affecting the individual animal and herd or flock, including the recording of illness, injuries, mortalities and medical treatments where appropriate.

animal health status

means the status of a country, zone or compartment with respect to an animal disease in accordance with the criteria listed in the relevant disease-specific chapter or Chapter 1.4. of the Terrestrial Code.

animal identification

means the combination of the identification and registration of an animal individually, with a unique identifier, or collectively by its epidemiological unit or group, with a unique group identifier.

animal identification system

means the inclusion and linking of components such as identification of establishments or owners, the persons responsible for the animals, movements and other records with animal identification.

animal traceability

means the ability to follow an animal or group of animals during all stages of its life.

animal welfare

means the physical and mental state of an animal in relation to the conditions in which it lives and dies.

antimicrobial agent

means a naturally occurring, semi-synthetic or synthetic substance that exhibits antimicrobial activity (kill or inhibit the growth of micro-organisms) at concentrations attainable in vivo. Anthelmintics and substances classed as disinfectants or antiseptics are excluded from this definition.


means a beehive or group of beehives whose management allows them to be considered as a single epidemiological unit.


means officially approved, accredited or registered by the Veterinary Authority.

artificial insemination centre

means a facility approved by the Veterinary Authority and which meets the conditions set out in the Terrestrial Code for the collection, processing and/or storage of semen.


means a structure for the keeping of honey bee colonies that is being used for that purpose, including frameless hives, fixed frame hives and all designs of moveable frame hives (including nucleus hives), but not including packages or cages used to confine bees for the purposes of transport or isolation.


means a set of management and physical measures designed to reduce the risk of introduction, establishment and spread of animal diseases, infections or infestations to, from and within an animal population.

biosecurity plan

means a plan that identifies potential pathways for the introduction and spread of disease in a zone or compartment, and describes the measures which are being or will be applied to mitigate the disease risks, if applicable, in accordance with the recommendations in the Terrestrial Code.

border post

means any airport, or any port, railway station or road check-point open to international trade of commodities, where import veterinary inspections can be performed.

captive wild [animal]

means an animal that has a phenotype not significantly affected by human selection but that is captive or otherwise lives under direct human supervision or control, including zoo animals and pets.


means an individual animal infected by a pathogenic agent, with or without clinical signs.


means intestines and bladders that, after cleaning, have been processed by tissue scraping, defatting and washing, and have been treated with salt.

collection centre

means a facility approved by the Veterinary Authority for the collection of oocytes or embryos and used exclusively for donor animals which meet the conditions of the Terrestrial Code.


means live animals, products of animal origin, animal genetic material, biological products and pathological material.


means an animal subpopulation contained in one or more establishments, separated from other susceptible populations by a common biosecurity management system, and with a specific animal health status with respect to one or more infections or infestations for which the necessary surveillance, biosecurity and control measures have been applied for the purposes of international trade or disease prevention and control in a country or zone.

competent Authority

means the Veterinary Authority or other Governmental Authority of a Member Country having the responsibility and competence for ensuring or supervising the implementation of animal health and welfare measures, international veterinary certification and other standards and recommendations in the Terrestrial Code and in the OIE Aquatic Animal Health Code in the whole territory.


means a non-self-propelled receptacle or other rigid structure for holding animals during a journey by one or several means of transport.

containment zone

means an infected zone defined within a previously free country or zone, which includes all suspected or confirmed cases that are epidemiologically linked and where movement control, biosecurity and sanitary measures are applied to prevent the spread of, and to eradicate, the infection or infestation.

day-old birds

means birds aged not more than 72 hours after hatching.


means the irreversible loss of brain activity demonstrable by the loss of brain stem reflexes.


means the application, after thorough cleansing, of procedures intended to destroy the infectious or parasitic agents of animal diseases, including zoonoses; this applies to premises, vehicles and different objects which may have been directly or indirectly contaminated.


means the application of procedures intended to eliminate infestation.

early detection system

means a system for the timely detection and identification of an incursion or emergence of diseases or infections in a country, zone or compartment. An early detection system should be under the control of the Veterinary Services and should include the following characteristics:

  1. representative coverage of target animal populations by field services;

  2. ability to undertake effective disease investigation and reporting;

  3. access to laboratories capable of diagnosing and differentiating relevant diseases;

  4. a training programme for veterinarians, veterinary paraprofessionals, livestock owners/keepers and others involved in handling animals for detecting and reporting unusual animal health incidents;

  5. the legal obligation of private veterinarians to report to the Veterinary Authority;

  6. a national chain command.

emerging disease

means a new occurrence in an animal of a disease, infection or infestation, causing a significant impact on animal or public health resulting from:

  1. a change of a known pathogenic agent or its spread to a new geographic area or species; or

  2. a previously unrecognised pathogenic agent or disease diagnosed for the first time.

epidemiological unit

means a group of animals with a defined epidemiological relationship that share approximately the same likelihood of exposure to a pathogenic agent. This may be because they share a common environment (e.g. animals in a pen), or because of common management practices. Usually, this is a herd or a flock. However, an epidemiological unit may also refer to groups such as animals belonging to residents of a village, or animals sharing a communal animal handling facility. The epidemiological relationship may differ from disease to disease, or even strain to strain of the pathogenic agent.


means the elimination of a pathogenic agent from a country or zone.


means the premises in which animals are kept.


means the act of inducing death using a method that causes a rapid and irreversible loss of consciousness with minimum pain and distress to animal.

exporting country

means a country from which commodities are sent to another country.


means any material (single or multiple), whether processed, semi-processed or raw, which is intended to be fed directly to terrestrial animals (except bees).

feed ingredient

means a component part or constituent of any combination or mixture making up a feed, whether or not it has a nutritional value in the animal's diet, including feed additives. Ingredients are of plant (including aquatic plants) or terrestrial or aquatic animal origin, or other organic or inorganic substances.

feral [animal]

means an animal of a domesticated species that now lives without direct human supervision or control.


means a number of animals of one kind kept together under human control or a congregation of gregarious wild animals. A flock is usually regarded as an epidemiological unit.

free compartment

means a compartment in which the absence of the animal pathogenic agent causing the disease under consideration has been demonstrated by all requirements specified in the Terrestrial Code for free status being met.

free zone

means a zone in which the absence of a specific infection or infestation in an animal population has been demonstrated in accordance with the relevant requirements of the Terrestrial Code.

fresh meat

means meat that has not been subjected to any treatment irreversibly modifying its organoleptic and physicochemical characteristics. This includes frozen meat, chilled meat, minced meat and mechanically recovered meat.

good manufacturing practice

means a production and testing practice recognised by the Competent Authority to ensure the quality of a product.


means the protein-containing residue obtained after the partial separation of fat and water during the process of rendering.

hatching eggs

means fertilised bird eggs, suitable for incubation and hatching.


means a biological, chemical or physical agent in, or a condition of, an animal or animal product with the potential to cause an adverse health effect.


means the Permanent Secretariat of the World Organisation for Animal Health located at:

12, rue de Prony, 75017 Paris, FRANCE
Telephone: 33-(0)1 44 15 18 88
Fax: 33-(0)1 42 67 09 87
Electronic mail: [email protected]
WWW: http://www.oie.int


means a number of animals of one kind kept together under human control or a congregation of gregarious wild animals. A herd is usually regarded as an epidemiological unit.

importing country

means a country that is the final destination to which commodities are sent.


means the number of new cases or outbreaks of a disease that occur in a population at risk in a particular geographical area within a defined time interval.

incubation period

means the longest period that elapses between the introduction of the pathogenic agent into the animal and the occurrence of the first clinical signs of the disease.

infected zone

means a zone either in which an infection or infestation has been confirmed, or one that is defined as such in the relevant chapters of the Terrestrial Code.


means the entry and development or multiplication of a pathogenic agent in the body of humans or animals.

infective period

means the longest period during which an affected animal can be a source of infection.


means the external invasion or colonisation of animals or their immediate surroundings by arthropods, which may cause clinical signs or are potential vectors of pathogenic agents.

international trade

means importation, exportation and transit of commodities.

international veterinary certificate

means a certificate, issued in accordance with Chapter 5.2., describing the animal health and public health requirements that are fulfilled by the exported commodities.


An animal transport journey commences when the first animal is loaded onto a vehicle/vessel or into a container and ends when the last animal is unloaded, and includes any stationary resting/holding periods. The same animals do not commence a new journey until after a suitable period for rest and recuperation, with adequate feed and water.


means any procedure that causes the death of an animal.


means a properly equipped institution staffed by technically competent personnel under the control of a specialist in veterinary diagnostic methods, who is responsible for the validity of the results. The Veterinary Authority approves and monitors such laboratories with regard to the diagnostic tests required for international trade.


means pens, yards and other holding areas used for accommodating animals in order to give them necessary attention (such as water, feed, rest) before they are moved on or used for specific purposes including slaughter.

listed disease

means a disease, infection or infestation listed in Chapter 1.3. after adoption by the World Assembly of OIE Delegates.


Loading means the procedure of moving animals onto a vehicle/vessel or into a container for transport purposes, while unloading means the procedure of moving animals off a vehicle/vessel or out of a container.


means a place where animals are assembled for the purposes of trade or sale.


means all edible parts of an animal.

meat-and-bone meal

means the solid protein products obtained when animal tissues are rendered, and includes any intermediate protein product other than peptides of a molecular weight less than 10,000 daltons and amino-acids.

meat products

means meat that has been subjected to a treatment irreversibly modifying its organoleptic and physicochemical characteristics.


means the normal mammary secretion of milking animals obtained from one or more milkings without either addition to it or extraction from it.

milk product

means the product obtained by any processing of milk.


means the intermittent performance and analysis of routine measurements and observations, aimed at detecting changes in the environment or health status of a population.

notifiable disease

means a disease listed by the Veterinary Authority, and that, as soon as detected or suspected, should be brought to the attention of this Authority, in accordance with national regulations.


means the procedure by which:

  1. the Veterinary Authority informs the Headquarters,

  2. the Headquarters inform the Veterinary Authority,

of the occurrence of disease, infection or infestation in accordance with Chapter 1.1.

official control programme

means a programme which is approved, and managed or supervised by the Veterinary Authority of a Member Country for the purposes of controlling a vector, pathogenic agent or disease by specific measures applied throughout that Member Country, or within a zone or compartment of that Member Country.

Official Veterinarian

means a veterinarian authorised by the Veterinary Authority of the country to perform certain designated official tasks associated with animal health or public health and inspections of commodities and, when appropriate, to certify in accordance with Chapters 5.1. and 5.2.

official veterinary control

means the operations whereby the Veterinary Services, knowing the location of the animals and after taking appropriate actions to identify their owner or responsible keeper, are able to apply appropriate animal health measures, as required. This does not exclude other responsibilities of the Veterinary Services e.g. food safety.


means the occurrence of one or more cases in an epidemiological unit.

owned dog

means a dog for which a person claims responsibility.

pathological material

means samples obtained from live or dead animals, containing or suspected of containing infectious or parasitic agents, to be sent to a laboratory.

place of shipment

means the place where the commodities are loaded into the vehicle or handed to the agency that will transport them to another country.


means a group of units sharing a common defined characteristic.


means all domesticated birds, including backyard poultry, used for the production of meat or eggs for consumption, for the production of other commercial products, for restocking supplies of game, or for breeding these categories of birds, as well as fighting cocks used for any purpose.

Birds that are kept in captivity for any reason other than those reasons referred to in the preceding paragraph, including those that are kept for shows, races, exhibitions, competitions or for breeding or selling these categories of birds as well as pet birds, are not considered to be poultry.

pre-journey period

means the period during which animals are identified, and often assembled for the purposes of loading  them.


means the total number of cases or outbreaks of a disease that are present in a population at risk, in a particular geographical area, at one specified time or during a given period.

protection zone

means a zone where specific biosecurity and sanitary measures are implemented to prevent the entry of a pathogenic agent into a free country or zone from a neighbouring country or zone of a different animal health status.

qualitative risk assessment

means an assessment where the outputs on the likelihood of the outcome or the magnitude of the consequences are expressed in qualitative terms such as ‘high’, ‘medium’, ‘low’ or ‘negligible’.

quantitative risk assessment

means an assessment where the outputs of the risk assessment are expressed numerically.

quarantine station

means an establishment under the control of the Veterinary Authority where animals are maintained in isolation with no direct or indirect contact with other animals, to ensure that there is no transmission of specified pathogenic agents outside the establishment while the animals are undergoing observation for a specified length of time and, if appropriate, testing or treatment.


is the action by which information on animals (such as identification, animal health, movement, certification, epidemiology, establishments) is collected, recorded, securely stored and made appropriately accessible and able to be utilised by the Competent Authority.

responsible dog ownership

means the situation whereby a person accepts and commits to perform various duties in accordance with the legislation in place and focused on the satisfaction of the behavioural, environmental and physical needs of a dog and to the prevention of risks (aggression, disease transmission or injuries) that the dog may pose to the community, other animals or the environment.

resting point

means a place where the journey is interrupted to rest, feed or water the animals; the animals may remain in the vehicle/vessel or container, or be unloaded for these purposes.


means the application to an animal of any procedure designed to restrict its movements.


means the likelihood of the occurrence and the likely magnitude of the biological and economic consequences of an adverse event or effect to animal or human health.

risk analysis

means the process composed of hazard identification, risk assessment, risk management and risk communication.

risk assessment

means the evaluation of the likelihood and the biological and economic consequences of entry, establishment and spread of a hazard.

risk communication

is the interactive transmission and exchange of information and opinions throughout the risk analysis process concerning risk, risk-related factors and risk perceptions among risk assessors, risk managers, risk communicators, the general public and other interested parties.

risk management

means the process of identifying, selecting and implementing measures that can be applied to reduce the level of risk.

safe commodity

means a commodity that can be traded without the need for risk mitigation measures specifically directed against a particular listed disease, infection or infestation and regardless of the status of the country or zone of origin for that disease, infection or infestation.

sanitary measure

means a measure, such as those described in various chapters of the Terrestrial Code, destined to protect animal or human health or life within the territory of the Member Country from risks arising from the entry, establishment and/or spread of a hazard.


means any procedure that causes the death of an animal by bleeding.


means premises, including facilities for moving or lairaging animals, used for the slaughter of animals to produce animal products and approved by the Veterinary Services or other Competent Authority.

space allowance

means the measure of the floor area and height allocated per individual or body weight of animals.

specific surveillance

means the surveillance targeted to a specific disease or infection.

stamping-out policy

means a policy designed to eliminate an outbreak by carrying out under the authority of the Veterinary Authority the following:

  1. the killing of the animals which are affected and those suspected of being affected in the herd or flock and, where appropriate, those in other herds or flocks which have been exposed to infection by direct animal to animal contact, or by indirect contact with the causal pathogenic agent; animals should be killed in accordance with Chapter 7.6.;

  2. the disposal of carcasses and, where relevant, animal products by rendering, burning or burial, or by any other method described in Chapter 4.12.;

  3. the cleansing and disinfection of establishments through procedures defined in Chapter 4.13.

stocking density

means the number or body weight of animals per unit area on a vehicle/vessel or container.

stray dog

means any dog not under direct control by a person or not prevented from roaming. Types of stray dog:

  1. free-roaming owned dog not under direct control or restriction at a particular time,

  2. free-roaming dog with no owner,

  3. feral dog: domestic dog that has reverted to the wild state and is no longer directly dependent upon humans.


means any mechanical, electrical, chemical or other procedure that causes immediate loss of consciousness; when used before slaughter, the loss of consciousness lasts until death from the slaughter process; in the absence of slaughter, the procedure would allow the animal to recover consciousness.


means a distinct part of a population identifiable in accordance with specific common animal health characteristics.


means the systematic ongoing collection, collation, and analysis of information related to animal health and the timely dissemination of information so that action can be taken.

Terrestrial Code

means the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

Terrestrial Manual

means the OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals.

transit country

means a country through which commodities destined for an importing country are transported or in which a stopover is made at a border post.


means an individually identifiable element used to describe, for example, the members of a population or the elements selected when sampling; examples of units include individual animals, herds, flocks and apiaries.


means the administration of a vaccine, in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and the Terrestrial Manual, when relevant, with the intention of inducing immunity in an animal or group of animals against one or more pathogenic agents.


means an insect or any living carrier that transports an infectious agent from an infected individual to a susceptible individual or its food or immediate surroundings. The organism may or may not pass through a development cycle within the vector.


means any means of conveyance including train, truck, aircraft or ship that is used for carrying animals.


means a person with appropriate education, registered or licensed by the relevant veterinary statutory body of a country to practice veterinary medicine/science in that country.

veterinary Authority

means the Governmental Authority of a Member Country, comprising veterinarians, other professionals and paraprofessionals, having the responsibility and competence for ensuring or supervising the implementation of animal health and welfare measures, international veterinary certification and other standards and recommendations in the Terrestrial Code in the whole territory.

veterinary legislation

means laws, regulations and all associated legal instruments that pertain to the veterinary domain.

veterinary medicinal product

means any product with approved claims to having a prophylactic, therapeutic or diagnostic effect or to alter physiological functions when administered or applied to an animal.

veterinary paraprofessional

means a person who, for the purposes of the Terrestrial Code, is authorised by the veterinary statutory body to carry out certain designated tasks (dependent upon the category of veterinary paraprofessional) in a territory, and delegated to them under the responsibility and direction of a veterinarian. The tasks for each category of veterinary paraprofessional should be defined by the veterinary statutory body depending on qualifications and training, and in accordance with need.

veterinary Services

means the governmental and non-governmental organisations that implement animal health and welfare measures and other standards and recommendations in the Terrestrial Code and the OIE Aquatic Animal Health Code in the territory. The Veterinary Services are under the overall control and direction of the Veterinary Authority. Private sector organisations, veterinarians, veterinary paraprofessionals or aquatic animal health professionals are normally accredited or approved by the Veterinary Authority to deliver the delegated functions.

veterinary statutory body

means an autonomous regulatory body for veterinarians and veterinary paraprofessionals.

wild [animal]

means an animal that has a phenotype unaffected by human selection and lives independent of direct human supervision or control.


means feral animals, captive wild animals and wild animals.


means a part of a country defined by the Veterinary Authority, containing an animal population or subpopulation with a specific animal health status with respect to an infection or infestation for the purposes of international trade or disease prevention or control.

nb: first adopted in 1968; most recent update adopted in 2018.

2018 ©OIE - Terrestrial Animal Health Code

Contents | Index Guide Chapter 1.1.