On 26th March 1975, the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) first came into force. The BWC, short for the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, was first submitted by the British and opened for signature on 10th April 1972. This was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production of an entire category of weapons, and as of 2018, is signed by 182 states.

The Convention came into being following prolonged efforts by the international community to introduce a supplementary instrument to the Geneva Protocol of 1925, which only prohibits the use of toxic and biological weaponry, as opposed to its possession or development.

According to the convention, all countries and private citizens are barred from the manufacture, possession or use of biological agents or toxins that do not have any non-violent utility, as well as any weapons or instruments that may aid the use of these toxin agents in armed conflict.