surveillance focused on the subset of avian influenza viruses that pose significant risk of infecting humans, including certain viruses of low pathogenicity in poultry. The chapter concludes with an example of a low-pathogen avian influenza outbreak in a group of commercial poultry farms and the steps the industry took to contain further spread of the virus, minimize the risk of exposure, and monitor and prevent further infections.

STANDARDS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE OIE RELATED TO AVIAN INFLUENZA

Dewan Sibartie

Scientific and Technical Department

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

Introduction

Preventing the spread of animal diseases and zoonoses through international trade is one of the primary objectives of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). This is accomplished by establishing international standards that facilitate trade while minimizing the risk of introducing infectious animal diseases and zoonoses. The OIE was founded in 1924, as a result of an outbreak of rinderpest in Belgium. Initially 28 countries united with a mandate to share information on animal disease outbreaks to allow the Member Countries to take the appropriate control measures to protect themselves and to prevent further spread of the disease. A total of 167 countries now form part of the OIE, and providing a mechanism for prompt reporting of disease outbreaks and occurrences is still one of the OIE’s primary roles.

Over the years, the OIE has been strongly committed to convincing national policy makers and international donors that the cost of strengthening veterinary services to provide better surveillance, early warning systems, and management of epizootics, including zoonoses, is negligible compared to the economic losses resulting from introduction of infectious animal diseases and zoonoses.

The OIE objectives and activities for the prevention and control of infectious animal diseases and zoonoses are focused on the following areas:

  • Transparency in animal disease status worldwide

    Each Member Country is committed to reporting to the OIE on its health status regarding significant animal diseases and diseases transmissible to humans. The OIE then disseminates the informa-



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