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Designated Reference Centres


FAO Reference Centres

FAO Reference Centres for animal health are institutions designated by the Director-General to provide specific, independent technical/scientific advice on issues related to FAO’s mandate. FAO plans to designate about 50 Reference Centres in the field of animal health and has identified 18 technical areas for which collaboration with Reference Centres is currently required. Other areas will be identified as needs arise.


19 identified technical areas in animal health for which Reference Centres are required
Thematic areas:

Veterinary Epidemiology

Laboratory biosafety and biocontainment

Drug and vaccine quality control

Wildlife health

Veterinary Public Health

Human-animal-environment interface

 Specific disease focus:
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Animal influenza and Newcastle Disease

Foot-and-mouth disease and other vesicular diseases

(esp. Peste des Petits Ruminants and Rinderpest)

Ruminant Mycoplasmoses

Vector-borne diseases

Livestock parasitic diseases


Tuberculosis and paratuberculosis

African and Classical swine fevers


Zoonotic parasitic diseases

Viral zoonotic diseases

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One of FAO’s global missions is to provide field and technical support to its member countries to prevent or control major diseases of poultry, livestock and wildlife. FAO can better fulfil its obligations in promoting livelihoods and safeguarding animal health in partnership with institutions – academic, research, laboratories and others – that have expertise in areas such as veterinary diagnostics, vaccines, research, biocontainment, epidemiology and wildlife health. The Reference Centres designated by FAO are regarded as centres of excellence in providing scientific and technical expertise, diagnostic services, laboratory and field training, in coordinating research and developmental studies, and in contributing to FAO projects.
Reference Centres are expected to provide assistance and expertise in:


  • preventing and detecting transboundary animal diseases, including zoonoses, and improving risk and disease management;
  • enhancing the understanding and analysis of factors that contribute to disease emergence, maintenance and spread;
  • supporting safer animal production, as part of economic development, food security, food safety and poverty alleviation efforts;
  • improving veterinary public health services; and
  • guiding policies related to animal health.


More information on current FAO Reference Centres can be found at EMPRES-i web site.