Bovine and Swine

There exist intra-EU controls on trade in certain animals.  There is a directive on trade within the EU in bovine animals and swine for breeding, production, or slaughter. The transport of bovine animals and swine to another state is permitted if

  • they do not display a sign of clinical disease
  • they have not been obtained from a holding subject to a prohibition
  • they are authorized in accordance with EU regulation on bovine animals
  • they are covered and accompanied by a health certificate in the form prescribed in legislation during transport to the country of destination
  • they come from a bovine herd officially free of tuberculosis, brucellosis and certain other conditions.

During transport, animals must not come into contact with other animals which do not conform to the same health conditions.

Vehicles used to transport animals must guarantee their well being and meet certain conditions including

  • design to prevent dispersal of droppings, litter or fodder
  • be cleaned and disinfected after each transportation of animals in line with approved methods and procedures

They must include a  register setting out information on location, date and time of loading and delivery of animals Type and quantity of animals transported, length of the journey, length, days in a location where vehicle disinfected.

Animals for slaughter which have been transported directly to an abattoir on their arrival in the country of destination must be slaughtered within 72 hours of arrival.  If they are transported directly to an approved assembly centre on their arrival in the destination country, before being transported to the abattoir, slaughter must take place within three working days following arrival in the assembly centre.

There are several other directives on intra-community trade in particular species of animals.  EU directive on bovine purebred breeding animals applies to pure bred animals of the bovine species as well as their semen ova and embryos. States must guarantee free trade in pure bred breeding animals’ cells and embryos.

Herd Books

States must ensure that there are no obstacles to the establishment of herd-books and provide recognition or organization and associations which maintain them. States may require pedigree certificates to be presented in EU trade in pure breeding animals.  The commission determines

  • performance monitoring methods for assessing cattle’s genetic value
  • criteria governing the recognition of breeder’s organization
  • criteria governing the establishment of herd-books

Breeder’s organizations and associations recognized by states may not oppose the entry on their herd-books of pure bred animals of the bovine species from other states provided they meet the conditions in the regulations.

Directive on the EU trade in pure breeding pigs provides broadly similar provisions.  The commission determines

  • performance monitoring for assessing pig’s genetic value
  • criteria governing the establishment of herd-books and registers
  • criteria governing entry in the herd-books and registers
  • criteria for recognition and supervision of breeders associations
  • certificates which states may require on the marketing of pure bred pigs’ semen, ova and embryo.

States may not prohibit, restrict or impede on zootechnical grounds, trade within the EU in pure bred and high bred breeding pigs, their semen or ova or embryo.

The official approval of breeding associations, or private bodies establishing herd-books may not be prohibited or restricted.

Horses etc.

A Directive on EU trade in equidae, their semen, ova, and embryos set out zootechnical and genealogical conditions governing their trade.  Trade may not be prohibited or restricted on the zoo, technical or genealogical grounds.

The directive lays down genealogical rules for registered equidae. The Commission determines criteria for the identification of equidae, approval of organizations keeping studbooks and for the entry of equidae in studbooks.

In inter-community trade, equidae registered in the country of dispatch must be entered in the studbook of the country of destination under the same name.

States must maintain an updated list of organizations which manage and establish studbooks and communicate the list to other states. The directive lays down zoo, technical rules.

Others Animals

There is an EU directive on the intra-community trade and import of animals and semen, ova and embryo.  This covers animals not covered by other specific legislation such as that for cattle and swine, horses, sheep and goats, poultry and hatching eggs and live ungulates. Checks are carried out in accordance with EU directive applicable to EU trade.

The directive lays down animal health requirements applicable to trade in zoo animals, ungulates and birds not covered by other directives including pet animals such as cats and dogs. Cats and dogs must meet the conditions provided in EU regulations on the non-commercial movement of pet animals.  Ireland, UK, and certain other countries require additional guarantees including national quarantine rules for animals susceptible to rabies.

Share this article