World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)
The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) is an inter-governmental organisation formed in 1924. It currently has 182 member countries.
Its objectives are to:
- ensure transparency in the global animal disease situation
- collect, analyse and disseminate veterinary scientific information
- provide expertise and encourage international solidarity in the control of animal diseases
- safeguard world trade by publishing health standards for international trade in animals and animal products, within its mandate under the World Trade Organization Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
- improve the legal framework and resources of national Veterinary Services
- provide a better guarantee of the safety of food of animal origin and to promote animal welfare through a science-based approach.
Australia is a strong contributor to WOAH processes to protect our animal health status and substantial trade in animals and animal products.
Australia contributes to the WOAH standards to ensure that standards are science-based and achieve their purpose without imposing an unjustified burden on Australian producers.
The Australian Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Mark Schipp is Australia’s Delegate to the WOAH, and recently completed a successful term as President of the WOAH World Assembly of Delegates. The Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer (OCVO) coordinates Australia’s WOAH work and draws on the expertise of other Australian government departments and agencies, industry bodies and other experts on the issues under consideration.
Enquiries may be directed to the WOAH Australia contact point by emailing WOAH Australia.
WOAH National Focal Points
A WOAH National Focal Point is an individual nominated by the WOAH Delegate of member countries. The roles and responsibilities of Focal Points are under the authority of the ACVO as the WOAH Delegate for Australia. While Focal Points serve primarily as a means for improved communication between Members and the WOAH, their functions also include establishing networks and improved communications at the country level between two or more Competent Authorities.
Currently, the WOAH has eight Focal Points in the following specialist areas: Animal Disease Notification, Wildlife, Veterinary Products, Veterinary Laboratories, Animal Production Food Safety, Aquatic Animals, Animal Welfare and Communication. To find out more about the terms of reference of individual focal points, go to the WOAH website.
Please email WOAH Australia to get in touch with a focal point for one of these specialist areas.