Regional Directorate of Animal Health


Support its member countries in the prevention, control, and eradication of diseases in animals that are of importance in public, economic, and social health. This aims to contribute to food security and facilitate the national and international trade of animals, their products, and by-products.

Strategic Objectives

  • Strengthen and develop health programs for bovine, poultry, porcine, aquaculture, apiculture, equine, minor species (ovine, caprine, and rabbit), and alternative livestock.
  • Prevent the introduction of emerging and transboundary diseases to the region and design and implement contingency plans for an immediate response to each economically significant and prioritized disease.
  • Support countries in achieving higher health statuses than current ones, allowing them to control and eradicate zoonotic diseases and improve market access.
  • Control and, if possible, eradicate endemic diseases that cause damage to the productivity of economically important animal species and public health.
  • Support the implementation of biosecurity, traceability, and animal welfare programs that strengthen productive management and market access for prioritized economically significant species.

Transversal programs


The OIRSA supports the veterinary services in the region in strengthening their epidemiological surveillance systems and rapid response to transboundary and emerging animal diseases, with emphasis on foot-and-mouth disease, screwworm, classical swine fever (CSF), African swine fever (ASF), and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).


Main activities:

  • Strengthening of capacities on emergency management in animal health.
  • Enhancement of diagnosis of transboundary diseases.
  • Mechanisms for the transfer of samples of vesicular diseases to the Regional Reference Laboratory, located in Panama (LADIVES).
    Development of technical documents:
    1. Regional manual of good practices for the management of health emergencies, including PPC, PPA, AI, Incident Command System (ICS), disaster response annexes, equipment, and material list.
    2. Operational manuals on:

1. Emergency procedures for transboundary diseases in cultured shrimp

2. Safe disposal of animal carcasses

3. Animal slaughter based on OIE's animal welfare guidelines.

4. Cleaning and disinfection in animal health.

  • Preparation of modular audiovisual material on "necropsy in animals" for bovine, porcine, and ovine species.
  • Development of computer platforms for epidemiological surveillance and laboratory support for the health programs of member countries.

El Organismo facilita el comercio de medicamentos veterinarios y alimentos para animales, formando capacidades en el sector oficial y privado, en lo que respecta a la interpretación y aplicación de la normativa vigente, así como el fortalecimiento de los programas de farmacovigilancia, buenas prácticas de uso de medicamentos veterinarios y la lucha contra la Resistencia Antimicrobiana en la región.



  • Organization of virtual and face-to-face technical meetings with the public and private sectors, establishing a permanent dialogue table aimed at facilitating the safe and agile trade of veterinary medicines and animal feed.
  • We are strengthening national capacities for pharmacovigilance and combating Antimicrobial Resistance through the provision of supplies for sample collection and laboratory supplies to identify bacteria resistant to antimicrobials in intensive livestock species such as poultry and pigs.
  • Promotion of the proper use of medicines through the corresponding Manual, which has been updated to include withdrawal periods for veterinary antimicrobials and antiparasitics.
  • As part of the Regional Pharmacovigilance and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Project, OIRSA has provided support in the application of the Central American Technical Regulation (RTCA), the interpretation and harmonization of criteria for the registration of veterinary medicines, and facilitating the marketing of those produced in the region.
  • In the context of "One Health," capacities for AMR surveillance were strengthened in the official sector, manufacturers, distributors, producers, and consumers. Cooperation and coordination actions were established between the Ministries of Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministries of Public Health and Environment.

Regional Project for Accreditation of Tests in Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratories (STDF/PG/495). In July 2016, the execution of the project began with the aim of strengthening laboratories' capacities in the Central American and Caribbean region through the accreditation of laboratory diagnostic tests for transboundary and commercially and socially significant diseases, both terrestrial and aquatic, selected by beneficiary countries.

The accreditation of tests under the ISO/IEC 17025 technical standard will ensure their technical competence and the validity of the results issued.

The Regional Directorate of Animal Health coordinates and harmonizes actions with other international organizations in the field of animal health. It actively participates in meetings and specialized forums in the area convened by international organizations. Additionally, it formulates and implements joint action plans with other international organizations.

Dr. Abelardo De Gracia Scanapieco

Director Regional de Salud Animal

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