Animal Welfare


What is animal welfare?

Animal welfare is a complex and multi-faceted subject with scientific, ethical, economic, cultural, social, religious, and political dimensions. It is attracting growing interest from civil society and is one of the priorities of the WOAH. The WOAH, at the request of its Member Countries, is the international organisation responsible for setting standards on this topic. Find out more here.

The WOAH Global Animal Welfare Strategy was developed from lessons learned from actions taken at the national and regional levels and aims to be a source of ongoing guidance for the WOAH’s activities in this area. Adopted in 2017 by all Member Countries, it was developed with the objective of achieving: “A world where the welfare of animals is respected, promoted and advanced, in ways that complement the pursuit of animal health, human well-being, socio-economic development, and environmental sustainability”.

The strategy focuses on the development of international standards on animal welfare, in consultation with Member Countries and key international stakeholders, developing the capacity of Veterinary Services, improving communication with governments and raising awareness around the issue, and, finally, supporting Member Countries in the implementation of these standards.





The WOAH is the unique global intergovernmental organisation in charge of intergovernmental standard‑setting in the field of animal welfare. Animal health is an essential component of animal welfare. In the absence of a global normative framework to promote animal welfare and at the request of its Members, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) has been developing international standards in this field since the early 2000s. These standards are, as all WOAH international standards, science‑based and adopted by consensus by all WOAH Member Countries.

Animal Welfare Fact Sheets

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Animal Welfare

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