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Official disease-free status (zones or countries)

Since the early 1990s, the OIE has been given by the International Committee (now renamed World Assembly) composed of the Delegates of the OIE Member Countries, the responsibility of compiling a list of Member Countries or zones that are officially recognised as being free from certain diseases. For this purpose, a clearly defined and impartial procedure for declaring a Member Country free from a disease was necessary, accompanied by well-designed, science-based questionnaires.

In May 1994 a new procedure was adopted by the International Committee (World Assembly). Developed by the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Other Epizootics Commission (now called the Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases), which is elected by the International Committee, it permitted the OIE to examine in detail dossiers submitted by the Delegates of Member Countries in support of a claim that their countries or zones within their countries could be considered free of FMD in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 2.2.10. of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code (FMD was the first disease chosen in the light of its significance for international trade).

In 1996 the first official list of OIE Member Countries or zones that were FMD free without using vaccination was published after adoption by the International Committee (World Assembly).

Since then, the International Committee (World Assembly) extended the procedure to rinderpest and other diseases deemed to be of priority. To date, the OIE has a specific procedure for African horse sickness (AHS), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), classical swine fever (CSF), contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), FMD, and peste des petits ruminants (PPR).

Since the declaration of the global eradication of rinderpest, at the 79th General Session in 2011, the evaluation of rinderpest status is no longer taking place.

The official recognition of disease status of Member Countries is of great significance for international trade and constitutes one of the most important legal links between the OIE and WTO.

Member Countries can also declare themselves free of diseases for which there is, as yet, no specific procedure for obtaining Official OIE recognition of Member Country status. In this case, they must provide the relevant epidemiological information to importing countries in proof of their position. The data provided must conform to the standard measures contained in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code, which is recognised by the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

OIE-endorsed official control programmes for FMD, PPR and CBPP

In May 2011, during the 79th General Session, the OIE World Assembly of Delegates (Assembly) adopted Resolution No. 19 establishing a new step in the procedure for recognizing the foot and mouth disease (FMD) status of a Member Country, namely the endorsement by the OIE of a national official control programme for FMD being in compliance with the provisions of the chapter on FMD in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code (Terrestrial Code).The same now also applies to PPR (2013) and CBPP (2014) Read more ...



Standard Operating Procedures
for official recognition of disease status
or risk status of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)
and for the endorsement of national official control programmes
of Member Countries



Disease status for African countries




Recent resolutions of the OIE World Assembly regarding African countries

May 2017

Declared free of FMD

Botswana (zone 3b)

National FMD Control Programme

no new recognitions

Declared free of CBPP

South Africa

National CBPP Control Programme

no new recognitions

BSE Risk status

no new recognitions

Declared free of AHS

no new recognitions

Declared free of CSF

no new recognitions

Declared free of PPR



Foot-and-mouth disease. Picture (c) LankaVet


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