Contents - Previous - Next

Chapter 9: Animal health information

National reporting
International reporting

National reporting

Livestock statistics

The Animal Health Service should be in possession of reliable official statistics on the livestock and poultry populations of the various communities and administrative districts of the country, as well as the size of herds and flocks, movement of animals, productivity and commercial value of animals, meat and other related products. Such data should be collected by the Animal Health Service or provided by the government authorities responsible for statistical services. Animal health services, in order to plan and implement official action efficiently, should have the right to influence the kind of data to be collected by the responsible government authority.

Animal health services should have sufficient information on human populations and on synanthropic, feral and wild animals, as well as on disease vectors and poisonous animals, to able to judge their epidemiological importance.

Internal reporting

The internal reporting of the Animal Health Service should be designed and applied to keep the central directorate constantly, reliably and adequately informed on:

• the state of notifiable diseases;

• findings made and actions accomplished by the animal health field service;

• findings made, actions accomplished and progress achieved by special control and eradication programmes and general schemes for the promotion of animal health;

• implementation of official milk, fish and other product inspection, findings made and decisions taken;

• implementation of veterinary import and export inspection, findings made and decisions taken;

• diagnoses and other accomplishments of the official laboratory service;

• activities in the field, such as mass vaccinations and disease investigations;

• activities in the field of veterinary inspection of edible and non-edible animal products, as well as feed, drugs and other official veterinary inspection activities.

Such information should be as comprehensive and adequate as required to enable the central directorate to:

• make precise and reliable official statements on the occurrence, development or absence of notifiable diseases for the purposes of trade;

• evaluate the circumstances essential for determining the declaration of restricted areas, their limits and measures to be applied in such areas;

• decide on control strategy and policies and, in particular, on the application of a slaughter policy, together with cost-benefit estimates and feasibility studies;

• follow up results obtained by systematic eradication schemes and adjust the programme policy to changing circumstances;

• note, in its earliest stages, any deterioration of the general animal health situation and take the appropriate measures to ascertain the causes and to counteract such development;

• evaluate the efficiency of field services and control schemes and make adjustments where appropriate;

• evaluate budget implications and disburse and supervise the use of funds.

Reporting of notifiable diseases

Countries should consider all OIE List A diseases, at a minimum, as notifiable.

Veterinary officers with reporting responsibilities and other animal health officers should be obliged to report through the supervising veterinary officer to the central directorate, without delay and on the day of occurrence, any case or suspected case of a notifiable disease, indicating:

• number of infected sites at the beginning of the reporting period;

• number of infected sites declared during the reporting period;

• number of infected sites at the end of the reporting period;

• number and location (coordinates) of communes and administrative districts in which the infected sites concerned are located;

• number of animals in infected sites under medication/treatment;

• number of animals affected by control measures in the restricted and observation areas;

• number of deaths;

• number of animals slaughtered;

• number of vaccinations carried out in connection with the reported outbreaks and types of vaccine used.

The central directorate should be kept informed of any further action regarding sanitary measures taken, development of mortality and morbidity, numbers of animals slaughtered, indemnities paid and other costs involved, further results of the epidemiological enquiry and end of the outbreak. All information received should be assembled under the responsibility of the central directorate into reports (further discussed in the paragraph "Published reports", below).

While the full scope of such information should be assembled and kept available for internal action and planning purposes, it must be recognized that, in bulletins destined for publication, the information should be limited to the number of infected sites declared during the reporting period and the location of the communes or districts concerned.

If a notifiable disease appears for the first time or reappears after a period of absence in a country, the Animal Health Service should inform the neighbouring and trading countries and the international organizations concerned without delay, as well as the regional and subregional agencies of governmental veterinary cooperation where applicable.

Periodic reporting (other than notifiable diseases)

Field services, quarantine services, diagnostic laboratories, special control and eradication schemes, artificial insemination centres and general animal health programmes should submit periodic reports to the central directorate, indicating diseases diagnosed, number of tests, vaccinations and treatments performed, results of tests and decisions taken at inspection. Special control and eradication schemes should record and report the number of herds and animals covered by the scheme, the number of certified free herds and the number of animals therein. Where appropriate, the number of inseminations, conceptions and carvings, and results of veterinary examination of females following failed conception or abortion, should be recorded and periodically reported by artificial insemination centres and infertility control schemes.

Reporting on import inspection

Findings made, decisions taken and actions accomplished with regard to imports, inspection of animals and products should be reported to the central directorate without delay and on the day of inspection, if any restrictive or prohibitive action is implied. Otherwise, relevant reports should be assembled and submitted periodically.

Published reports

The Animal Health Service should issue:

• periodic bulletins, at convenient intervals, providing information on the occurrence of notifiable diseases;

• annual reports, providing information on the state of officially controlled diseases, other diseases diagnosed by field and laboratory services, type and number of vaccinations and other findings made and actions accomplished by the Animal Health Service.

The bulletins and annual reports should be published by the government and/or on behalf of the government by the international and, where applicable, regional or subregional governmental organizations designated for this purpose.

International reporting

Groups of communicable diseases

Animal diseases are classified by FAO/WHO/OIE according to their importance and rapidity of spread, as follows:

• List A - communicable diseases that have the potential for very serious and rapid spread, irrespective of national borders, which are of serious socio-economic or public health consequence and which are of major importance in the international trade of livestock and livestock products.

• List B - communicable diseases considered to be of socio-economic and/or public health importance within countries that are significant in the international trade of livestock and livestock products.

• List C (FAO) - communicable diseases with economic, public health and/or social importance at the local level.

Reporting to International organizations

Any diseases in List A or an occurrence of a disease in List B that is of exceptional epidemiological importance to other countries should be notified by telex, telegram or telefax to OIE, and to other relevant organizations, neighbouring countries and countries with animal and/or animal product trading links, within 24 hours following confirmation of a case or outbreak.

For OIE member countries, the subsequent reporting procedure and routine reports should be in accordance with the OIE Guide.

OIE communicates information to member countries:

• by telex, telegram or telefax to countries at immediate risk and by mail to the other countries;
• through the monthly OIE Bulletin, which provides data on diseases in Lists A and B as necessary;
• through the OIE annual publication World Animal Health.

Countries that are not members of OIE should report as above to the FAO Animal Health Service, Rome. FAO will forward the information to OIE in accordance with an official agreement between the two organizations and also to other countries at risk.

Every year FAO, WHO and OIE send to the directors of animal health services a joint questionnaire for the preparation of both the FAO/WHO/OIE Animal Health Yearbook and the OIE World Animal Health.

This questionnaire is divided into two parts: Part I for information regarding diseases in Lists A and B and Part II for information regarding diseases in List C, the number of cases of zoonoses in humans and the number of veterinary personnel.

The diseases in OIE Lists A and B are given in Annex 4.


FAO/WHO/OIE. Animal Health Yearbook. Rome, FAO.

OIE Bulletin (monthly). Paris, OIE.

OIE World Animal Health (yearly). New animal disease outbreaks - statistics. (No. 1). Animal health status and disease control methods (No. 2). Part 1: reports; part 2: tables. Paris, OIE.

Contents - Previous - Next