The need to fight animal diseases at global level led to the creation of the Office International des Epizooties through the international Agreement signed on January 25th 1924. In May 2003 the Office became the World Organisation for Animal Health but kept its historical acronym OIE. The OIE is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide. It is recognised as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in 2013 had a total of 178 Member Countries. The OIE maintains permanent relations with 45 other international and regional organisations and has Regional and sub-regional Offices on every continent.