African swine fever

African swine fever

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about African swine fever


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Animal health

African swine fever

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2002/60/EC of 27 June 2002 laying down specific provisions for the control of African swine fever and amending Directive 92/119/EEC as regards Teschen disease and African swine fever [See amending acts].


The Directive lays down the minimum control measures where African swine fever is suspected or confirmed.

Any suspected or confirmed case of the disease must be notified to the competent authority. The Member State concerned informs the Commission and the other Member States of cases of swine fever, outbreaks of the disease and the results of epidemiological inquiries.

Suspected cases of African swine fever on a holding

Where a case is suspected, the Member State must immediately open an official investigation to confirm or rule out the presence of the disease. If the presence of African swine fever on a holding cannot be ruled out, the holding must be placed under official surveillance and restrictions must be placed on the movement of pigs, carcasses, and products that might spread the disease, as well as the movement of persons and vehicles to and from the holding.

An epidemiological inquiry must be carried out.

Confirmation of African swine fever on a holding

If the presence of African swine fever is officially confirmed, all the pigs on the holding are to be killed and their carcasses processed. All material (meat, semen, ova) or waste that might be contaminated must be destroyed, processed or treated to ensure destruction of the virus.

In the case of holdings consisting of two or more separate production units, derogations may be granted for healthy production units on specific, strict conditions.

In addition, all premises, vehicles and equipment that might be contaminated must be cleaned and disinfected under official supervision.

The competent authority must also establish around the outbreak site:

  • a protection zone with a radius of at least three kilometres, itself included in a
  • surveillance zone of a radius of at least 10 kilometres.

Special security measures must be implemented in these zones, in particular a census of all the holdings, a ban on the movement and transport of pigs and cleansing and disinfection measures. The competent authority may authorise, on strict conditions, the removal of pigs from a holding in the surveillance or protection zones within no less than 30 and 40 days respectively after the completion of the preliminary cleansing and disinfection, and, if necessary, disinsectisation of the infected holding.

Where African swine fever is suspected or confirmed in a slaughterhouse or means of transport

Where there is a suspicion of the disease, it must be officially confirmed or ruled out.

Where the presence of the disease is confirmed, all susceptible pigs must be killed and all material (carcases, offal and waste) from animals that might be contaminated must be processed to ensure that the virus is destroyed.

Cleansing, disinfection and, if necessary, disinsectisation of buildings and equipment, including vehicles, must take place under official supervision.

An epidemiological inquiry is carried out. The measures provided for in suspected cases are carried out on contact holdings *. The measures provided for in confirmed cases are applied on the holding of origin of the infected pigs.

Pigs may not be introduced into a holding, slaughterhouse or vehicle that has been affected by the disease until after a minimum period.

Where African swine fever is suspected or confirmed in feral pigs

Where the disease is suspected in feral pigs, the Member State must take all appropriate measures to confirm or rule out the presence of the disease.

Where African swine fever is confirmed in feral pigs, the competent authority of the Member State concerned must establish an expert group to provide assistance, which then defines the infected area and establishes the measures to be applied.

The Member State must immediately place pig holdings in the defined area under official surveillance and order that an official census be carried out of all categories of pigs on all holdings, all pigs on holdings be kept isolated from feral pigs and no pigs enter or leave holdings, except where authorised.

Within 90 days of confirmation of a case of African swine fever, Member States must submit to the Commission a plan of the measures to be taken to eradicate the disease in the infected area. When they have been approved by the Commission, these measures replace those laid down previously. 18. Every six months, the Member State concerned must send the Commission and the other Member States a report concerning the results of the eradication plan and the epidemiological situation in the defined area.

Diagnostic procedures

A diagnostic manual sets out all obligations, criteria and procedures to be applied to diagnostic tests and clinical examinations. These operations must take place exclusively in approved national laboratories.

Each Member State shall designate a national laboratory and then communicate the contact details for their laboratory to the other Member States and to the public. This laboratory is responsible for coordinating the standards and methods of diagnosis aiming at detecting the presence of African swine fever. All national laboratories shall work in cooperation with the Community Reference Laboratories located in Valdeolmos (Spain).

Vectors and vaccines

To prevent any risk of propagation, investigations and measures to eradicate the vectors of the disease (ticks) must be carried out on holdings on which it is confirmed.

The use of African swine fever vaccines is prohibited in the territory of the European Union.

Contingency plans

Each Member State must draw up a contingency plan specifying the national measures to be implemented in the event of an outbreak of African swine fever. The plan is to be drawn up in accordance with the criteria and requirements set out in the Directive.

Member States must ensure that a fully functional national disease control centre can be immediately set up in the event of any outbreaks of African swine fever.


This Directive fills a gap in the control of the most dangerous animal diseases. It is based on the rules on classical swine fever adopted in 2001.

Key Terms of the Act
  • Contact holding: a holding where African swine fever may have been introduced, whether as a result of the location, movement of persons, pigs or vehicles or in any other way.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2002/60/EC



OJ L 192 of 20.7.2002

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/73/EC



OJ L 219 of 14.8.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2002/60/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version  is for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2003/422/CE of 26 May 2003 approving an African swine fever diagnostic manual [notified under number C(2003) 1696] [Official Journal L 143 of 11.6.2003].

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

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