Monday, December 05, 2016

ISO gets into the animal welfare business

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.


There is a growing focus in society on animal welfare. Perception of animal welfare is complex and multifaceted, being influenced by scientific, ethical, historical, cultural, religious, economic and political dimensions. When addressing animal welfare, it has to be done in a scientifically credible manner. The Terrestrial Animal Health Code (TAHC) published by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) sets animal welfare standards to be used to establish national regulations and other relevant animal welfare documents.
Animal welfare management, as described in this document, has been developed to be adapted to various situations, including:
  • different production systems and different organizations in the supply chain for products of animal origin, regardless of size and country;
  • different geographical, cultural and religious contexts; and
  • developed as well as developing countries.
The purpose of this document is to ensure the welfare of animals raised for food or feed production around the world through the following objectives:
  • to provide a management tool for the implementation of the animal welfare principles of the OIE TAHC (Section 7);
  • to provide guidance for the implementation of public or private animal welfare standards and relevant legislation that meet at least the OIE TAHC (Section 7);
  • to facilitate the integration of animal welfare principles in business-to-business relations.


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