In 1921, to solve the issue of international animal epidemic diseases, the OIE was initiated by 28 nations including Argentina, Egypt, France, The Great Britain, Holland and Switzerland, etc. In 1924, the participants signed the official contract and set up the Intergovernmental Veterinarian Organization with headquarters in Paris, France.
The purpose of the OIE is to safeguard the trade of animals and animal products worldwide, to improve the level of the world’s public sanitation, to appoint all kinds of regional reference laboratories for major epidemic disease cases, and to promote international cooperation on joint defense of epidemic diseases.
The annual OIE meeting is held in Paris, France once a year. Usually, the topics that are discussed includes the following: major animal diseases, animal quarantine situations in different regions, and constituting of rules on animal health, inspection and standards related to trade, etc. With committees in Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific region, Eastern Europe and America, etc., the OIE holds a conference in one of the member nations every two years to discuss the issues such as how to prevent epidemic situations in separate regions and how to promote joint-defense against the severe epidemic diseases that occurs in some regions.
On the importance of animal health in trade, the WTO signed the convention with the OIE in 1998. The OIE is commissioned to constitute the criteria, suggestions and standards of animal health and sanitation related to trade according to the pact. Besides, Codex Alimentarius Commission (CODEX), OIE and other relative international and regional organizations of IPPC are observers of WTO. This shows that OIE is playing a more important role worldwide.
It was in 1954 that Taiwan participated in the OIE. At present, being one of the senior members, we are responsible to report the animal epidemic situation in Taiwan periodically to form a network system among membership; to promote regional joint-defense; to assist in risk assessment of importing and exporting animals in Taiwan through the animal sanitation criterion and inspection standard constituted by the OIE. In addition, when food-and-mouth disease occurred in Taiwan in1996, the OIE assisted us to identify disease types by providing us with the reference laboratory and the effective vaccines.