The World Organisation for Animal Health (known by its French initials, “OIE”), at its annual meeting in Paris in May, approved a new chapter on the welfare of pigs for inclusion in the organization’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code. Veterinary delegates representing 181 member countries approved language that recommends group housing for sows because they are social animals. While the OIE’s animal health code is not binding on member countries, governments view it as an authoritative source of animal welfare information.
AWI pushes the USDA to take stronger animal welfare positions at the OIE on behalf of the United States, and it works to influence the OIE as a whole through participation in the International Coalition for Animal Welfare. The coalition, whose membership is composed of 17 national and international animal protection organizations, recently entered into a formal agreement with the OIE to collaborate on improving animal welfare globally through the effective implementation of OIE animal welfare standards and guidelines.