Control of classical swine fever

Table of Contents:

Control of classical swine fever

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Control of classical 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

Control of classical swine fever

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2001/89/EC of 23 October 2001 on Community measures for the control of classical swine fever [See amending act(s)]


The Directive is designed to ensure an adequate degree of preparation enabling an effective response to be given to emergency situations. The Member States have to draw up contingency plans indicating the vaccine requirements in the event of contamination and the areas with a high density of pigs. They also have to ensure that a national disease control centre and local centres can be established immediately in the event of outbreaks of the disease. Moreover, the feeding of catering waste to pigs is prohibited, as it is likely to constitute a danger of propagation of the disease.

If the presence of swine fever on its territory is suspected or confirmed, the Member State concerned must inform the competent authority immediately. It must also provide information to the Commission and the other Member States on the cases observed.

The competent authority must then immediately initiate official investigations in accordance with the procedures laid down in the diagnostic manual (see Decision 2002/106/EC). This manual guarantees the uniformity of diagnostic procedures. The coordination of diagnostic standards and methods (see Annex III of the Directive) is carried out by a national laboratory designated by Member States who then communicate the name and address of their laboratory to the other Member States and to the public.

The Commission may send experts to carry out on-the-spot checks in the Member States in order to ensure the uniform application of this Directive.

Presence of swine fever on a holding

If the suspicion cannot be invalidated, the holding is placed under official supervision. In particular, movements to and from the holding must be prohibited or made subject to authorisation. Access ways to the holding and means of transport leaving it must be disinfected.

Once the presence of the disease has been officially confirmed, all the pigs on the holding are killed and their carcasses rendered. Any material (meat, sperm, ova) or waste likely to be contaminated is destroyed, rendered or processed to destroy the virus.

Next, the buildings housing the pigs, the vehicles transporting them or their carcasses and the equipment, bedding, manure and slurry likely to be contaminated must be cleaned and disinfected. These operations are carried out under official supervision with products approved by the competent authority.

An epidemiological enquiry is carried out on the basis of the questionnaires drawn up as part of the contingency plans. It must cover the length of time during which the virus may have existed before the disease was notified, the possible origin of the fever and the movements of persons, vehicles, pigs or any other material which could have transported the virus.

In the case of holdings comprising different production units, it is possible, following various checks by an official veterinarian, to derogate from these measures in healthy production units.

The competent authority must also establish, around the outbreak of the disease:

  • a surveillance zone with a radius of at least 10 kilometres;
  • a protection zone with a radius of at least 3 kilometres.

Special safety measures must be applied in each of these zones. They involve in particular a census of all holdings, prohibition of any movement or transport of pigs, and all necessary cleaning and disinfection. The competent authority may in some cases and only under certain conditions authorise the removal of pigs from a holding situated in a surveillance or protection zone.

Pigs may not be reintroduced to a holding affected by the disease until 30 days after the completion of the cleaning and disinfection operations. In open-air holdings, full repopulation may take place only if none of the first pigs returned has developed antibodies against the virus.

In a slaughterhouse or means of transport, once the presence of the disease has been confirmed all susceptible* animals present must be killed. New animals may not be reintroduced until 24 hours after the completion of cleaning and disinfection operations. The carcasses, offal and animal waste of possibly contaminated pigs must be processed under official supervision.

The case of feral pigs

As soon as confirmation of a primary case of classical swine fever in feral pigs* has taken place, the competent authority of the Member State concerned must set up an expert group to assist it. It must determine the infected area and the measures to be applied there.

It must immediately place under official surveillance the pig holdings in the area. In this connection, it must order that an official census be carried out of all categories of pigs on all holdings, that all pigs on the holding be kept isolated from feral pigs and that no pigs enter or leave the holding without its authorisation.

Within 90 days from the confirmation of the disease, the Member States must submit to the Commission a written plan of the measures taken to eradicate the disease in the infected area. Once they have been approved, these measures replace those laid down previously. They include collecting information on:

  • the results of the epidemiological investigations and the geographical distribution of the disease;
  • the infected area determined on the territory of the Member State concerned;
  • the information campaign to be organised to increase hunters’ awareness of the measures to be taken;
  • the approximate number of meta-populations of feral pigs* in and around the infected area;
  • the method of removal of feral pigs found dead or shot and the epidemiological enquiry carried out on each of them.

Every six months, the Member State concerned must forward to the Commission and the other Member States a report on the results of the eradication plan and the epidemiological situation in the affected area.

The use of classical swine fever vaccines is, in principle, prohibited. However, after confirmation of a risk of spread of the disease, the Member State concerned may submit an emergency vaccination plan to the Commission. This measure is possible for both farm pigs and feral pigs.

Key terms of the Act
  • Susceptible animal: an animal who has not developed immunity against classical swine fever virus.
  • Feral pig: pigs that are not kept or raised in farms.
  • Meta-population of feral pigs: any group or sub-population of feral pigs with limited contracts with other groups or sub-populations.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2001/89/EC



OJ L 316 of 1.12.2001

Amending Acts 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 2001/89/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version  is for reference purposes only.


Annex III – List and duties of national classical swine fever laboratories
Decision 2006/911/CE [Official Journal L 346 of 9.12.2006];
Directive 2006/104/CE [Official Journal L 363 of 20.12.2006];
Decision 2007/729/CE [Official Journal L 294 of 13.11.2007];
Directive 2008/73/CE [Official Journal L 219 of 14.8.2008].

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2007/19/EC of 22 December 2006 approving contingency plans for the control of classical swine fever pursuant to Council Directive 2001/89/EC [Official Journal L 7 of 12.1.2007].

Commission Decision 2007/682/EC of 18 October 2007 on the renewal of the Community stocks of live attenuated vaccine against classical swine fever [Official Journal L 281 of 25.10.2007].

Commission Decision 2006/553/EC of 4 August 2006 on the purchase by the Community of marker vaccine against classical swine fever to increase the Community stocks of those vaccines [Official Journal L 217 of 8.8.2006].

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