Australia and the World Organisation for Animal Health

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

The OIE 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’s Objectives

Australia is a strong contributor to OIE processes to protect our animal (including aquatic animal) health status and substantial trade in animals and animal products.

Australia has a good record in influencing OIE standards so they are science-based and achieve their purpose without imposing an unjustified burden on Australian producers.

It achieves this influence through the OIE’s annual World Assembly General Session and by participating in specialist commissions, ad hoc groups and working groups. Australia also participates regularly in other OIE activities and discharges its responsibilities as an OIE member country through regular disease reporting, by commenting on draft standards, and by completing OIE questionnaires.

The Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Mark Schipp is Australia’s Delegate to the OIE, and current elected President of the OIE World Assembly of Delegates. The Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer (OCVO) coordinates Australia’s OIE 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 OIE Australia contact point by emailing OIE Australia.

OIE National Focal Points

An OIE National Focal Point is an individual nominated by the OIE Delegate of member countries. The roles and responsibilities of Focal Points are under the authority of the ACVO as the OIE Delegate for Australia. While Focal Points serve primarily as a means for improved communication between Members and the OIE, their functions also include establishing networks and improved communications at the country level between two or more Competent Authorities. Currently, the OIE 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, you may find a link to the OIE website.

Additionally, you may find a list of the Australian OIE Focal Points below. Please email OIE Australia if you wish to contact them.

Category of Focal PointName
Animal Diseases NotificationDr Jennifer Davis
Animal Production Food SafetyDr Christine Coulson
Animal WelfareDr Emily Orchard-Mills
Aquatic AnimalsDr Yuko Hood
CommunicationDr Phoebe Readford
Veterinary LaboratoriesDr William Wong
Veterinary ProductsDr Leigh Nind
WildlifeDr Tiggy Grillo
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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