Animal Heath, World Trade, and Food Safety (OIE):  Challenges and Opportunities

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WELCOME to the preview of the Animal Heath, World Trade, and Food Safety [OIE, World Organisation for Animal Health] course. This is a 3-credit, graduate level, Internet-based, college course offered by Michigan State University. This course is designed for anyone interested in the global animal health situation and its relationship to international trade in animals and animal products.

This course is one in a series of Internet-based, food law courses comprising our International Food Law Certificate Program at Michigan State University.  

The Lead Instructor for this course is Dr. Scott Haskell. There is also a Course Manager, Mary Anne Verleger, who will be your primary contact throughout the course and will be available to help with any and all concerns regarding this course.

Course Objective:

The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the history, development and workings of the OIE, with particular emphasis on its role as the organization responsible for setting international standards for animal health and zoonoses, and attention to its new mandates for animal welfare and food safety.

The development of new standards and the revision of existing standards in the OIE Codes and Manuals are tasks for one of the OIE Specialist Commissions. The OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code and the Aquatic Animal Health Code contain standards, guidelines and recommendations designed to prevent the introduction of infectious agents and diseases pathogenic to animals and humans into the importing country during trade in animals, animal genetic material and animal products.

Course Design:

The course is taught in a series of sections or “Modules”.  Each Module lasts one week and represents a specific topic or issue.  Modules will be uploaded on Monday morning.  You will have one week to read the materials and complete the assignment, which is located at the end of the Module.  Once uploaded, the Modules will remain online throughout the duration of the course, so you can always go back in case you miss a week.  

Here’s a sample Index of the Modules in this course, which may change each semester - NOTE: This course may require the purchase of a text book.


Module One 


Getting Started in a Web Course - 
Overview of Course
Scott Haskell, Lead Instructor
Mary Anne Verleger, Course Manager

Module Two


Global Livestock Health Policies:  The Basics
Discussion Topic:  The European Union Beef Hormone Ban

Module Three


Twentieth Century Progress and Change in Animal Health
Discussion Topic:  Food Safety Concerns in Integrated Agriculture

Module Four


The Shaping of Livestock Health Policy and Trade:  Risk Based Trade Decisions
Discussion Topic:  Animal Welfare Policies as Exclusionary Factors

Module Five


Components of Effective Livestock Health Infrastructure
Discussion Topic:  Russian Importation of U.S. Poultry

Module Six


International Livestock Health Standards and
Standard Setting Organizations - OIE, USDA and WTO
Discussion Topic: The World Trade Organization and National Sovereignty

Module Seven


Understanding the OIE:  Development and Adoption of OIE Standards
Discussion Topic:  Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and the Precautionary Principle

Module Eight


World Trade and The World Bank - Capacity Building
Discussion Topic:  Mexican Cattle and Tuberculosis Control

Module Nine


World Trade, Open Boarders and Food Safety
Discussion Topic:  Compulsory Versus Voluntary Disease Reporting

Module Ten


Challenges Facing Livestock Health Policy in the 21st Century
Discussion Topic:  Pressures from Producer Organizations

Module Eleven


Strategies for Effective Livestock Health Policy Action - OIE
Discussion Topic:  Food and Mouth Disease Eradication Policies

Module Twelve


A Look at the Future and Who will be the Leaders
Discussion Topic:  Livestock Disease Strategies as a Method to Control Trade

Module Thirteen


Future Challenges and Opportunities
Discussion Topic:  Bioterrorism and Agroterrorism

Module Fourteen

Course Evaluation
Scott Haskell, Lead Instructor


Class Participation and Assignments:

Class participation is accomplished by means of Internet communication technologies, such as class discussion boards. Your assignments will be due the following Monday and can be submitted automatically using our Course Assignment Drop Box feature or by email, fax or regular mail.  Grades are posted electronically and sent to you by email.


It takes an average of nine to twelve hours per week to complete a module.  You simply go online at the beginning of each week or whenever it is convenient for you and a new module will be waiting.  Read the materials, explore the hyperlinked and other Internet-based resources, and complete the assignment.

We offer seven other full-semester courses online in addition to this one: Codex Alimentarius (The Food Code), the overview course in International Food Laws and Regulations and the region-specific courses covering Food Regulation in the United States, European Union, Latin America, Canada and Asia.  All basically follow the same format. 

If you are looking for a convenient way to continue your education and are interested in or need information regarding Animal Health, World Trade, and Food Safety and the OIE and its influence on global trade, this is the course for you. 

Just click: How to Enroll to view a sample copy of the Application and to receive instructions on how to enroll directly online. 

We hope you will join us fall semester!

This course is only offered fall semesters.

For more information, see the Semester Course Schedule