International organization and zoonoses
In 1962, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization created the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) to encourage fair international trade in food and to protect the health and economic interests of consumers. In 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established as a successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, providing a common framework for the conduct of trade among member countries in matters related to the Uruguay Round Trade Agreements. Prior to this time, national governments heavily subsidized many agricultural commodities. In addition, trade was inhibited by economic policies, including nontariff barriers erected by national governments to protect the country from the introduction of exotic animal diseases. However, the changes introduced by the Uruguay Round Trade Agreements included the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, multilateral trade agreements, and the General Agreement on Trade in Services. The common threads in these trade agreements are harmonic, equivalence (not everybody has to ensure disease prevention in the same way, but there has to be similar risk between countries), and regionalization (whereby geographically distinct regions in a country may be designated disease-free and therefore able to export). Until recently, international standards have been the primary means of determining harmonization. The introduction of risk analysis into Codex and the WTO Agreement on the application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures (called the SPS Agreement) now provides other means for harmonization. Equivalence can be determined by specifying risk-based objectives. The provisions of the SPS Agreement include protective measures that must be based on scientific risk assessments. Each country has a right to set up its own standards of protection, but a country cannot do so unjustifiably or arbitrarily.
This agreement is essential for the international trade in animals and animal products as it provides the legal framework for the application of OIE standards, guidelines and recommendations. SPS measure is applied to: