It is recognised as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in 2014 had a total of 180 member states. The main objective of the organisation is to control epizootic diseases and thus to prevent their spread.
Importance to the Egg Industry
A formally recognised partnership exists between the WOAH and the IEC with the issues of common interest being:
- The provision of general information on the egg production and processing sectors, particularly on its relations and interactions with official veterinary services.
- Cooperation in the development and revision of international animal welfare guidelines and standards relevant to the egg production industry.
- Cooperation in the development and revision of international standards that impact upon the trade of eggs and egg products, including international animal health and zoonoses standards.
- Veterinary research into diseases of egg producing species.
- Exchange of views on the approach by intergovernmental bodies such as the WHO, the FAO and their subsidiary body (Codex Alimentarius) on disease surveillance and control strategies which may impact on the egg sector and/or on international trade.
- Exchange views and participation at meetings on relevant aspects of animal health and zoonoses, animal welfare and food safety.
- This partnership allows the IEC to be a member of the Animal Welfare Working Group.