Tag Archives: Veterinary legislation

Protection of calves intended for slaughter

Protection of calves intended for slaughter

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of calves intended for slaughter

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal welfare

Protection of calves intended for slaughter

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2008/119/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of calves.

Summary

This Directive lays down minimum standards for the protection of calves * placed in units in which they are raised for slaughter. These standards, which have been compulsory since 1 January 2007, do not apply to calves kept with the cow for suckling, or to holdings with fewer than six calves.

This Directive does not cover the transport of calves, which is governed by Regulation (EC) No 1/2005.

Group or individual pens

Pens must be constructed in such a way as to allow each calf to lie down, rest, stand up and groom itself without difficulty.

From the age of eight weeks, individual pens are prohibited except in the case of illness. This measure is justified by the gregarious nature of bovine animals.

Before the age of eight weeks, individual pens are permitted. They are to be composed of perforated walls which allow the calves to have visual and tactile contact. Solid walls may be used only to isolate sick animals from the rest of the herd.

Group pens must comply with the following standards relating to space (see table below).

Weight of animal in kg Area in m2

‹ 150

1.5

‹ 220

1.7

› 220

1.8

Calves must not be tethered (except possibly during the feeding of milk for a period of not more than one hour) or muzzled.

Housing, pens, equipment and utensils must be cleaned and disinfected.

Floors must be smooth but not slippery, so as to prevent injury to the calves. The lying area must be comfortable, clean and adequately drained. Bedding is compulsory for calves less than two weeks old.

Health

Each calf must receive bovine colostrum as soon as possible after it is born (within the first six hours of life).

Any calf which is ill or injured must be treated without delay. Veterinary advice must be obtained as soon as possible for any calf which is not responding to the stock-keeper’s care.

Diet

Calves are to be fed at least twice a day. Each calf must have access to food at the same time as the others in the group.

Their food must contain sufficient iron to ensure an average blood haemoglobin level of at least 4.5 mmol/litre, and a minimum daily ration of fibrous food must be provided for each calf over two weeks old.

Diet must be adapted to the age and weight of the animal. It must also be adapted to its behaviour and physiological needs.

Calves over two weeks of age should have access to fresh water.

Monitoring of animals

Housed calves must be inspected at least twice daily and mechanical equipment at least once daily. Where an artificial ventilation system is used, provision must be made for an alarm system (tested regularly) and a ventilation back-up system.

Light levels

Calves should be kept in conditions with natural or artificial lighting (equivalent to the period of natural light between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.).

Inspections

Member States must carry out inspections every year on a statistically representative sample.

The Commission may send veterinary experts to carry out on-the-spot checks with the assistance of the national inspectors.

Imports

To import animals from third countries, a certificate is required stating that they have received treatment equivalent to that granted to animals of Community origin.

Specific provisions

Member States may, within their territories, apply stricter provisions than those laid down in this Directive. In this case, they must inform the Commission in advance of any such measures.

Context

This Directive repeals Directive 91/629/EEC.

Key terms of the Act
  • Calf: a bovine animal up to six months old.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/119/EC

4.2.2009

OJ L 10 of 15.1.2009

The protection of pigs

The protection of pigs

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The protection of pigs

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal welfare

The protection of pigs

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2008/120/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs.

Summary

This Directive lays down minimum standards for the protection of pigs. The text provides a framework in particular for painful operations: castration, caudal amputation, the elimination of corner teeth, etc.

Scope

Minimum standards apply to all categories of pigs kept for rearing and fattening: piglets (from birth to weaning), weaned piglets (from weaning to 10 weeks old), fatteners (more than 10 weeks old), sows and gilts *, boars *, etc.

These animals are, apart from some exceptions (farrowing sows, boar), to be raised in groups. Farmers must implement measures aimed at fulfilling basic needs and preventing aggression within the group. In particular, pigs must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of enrichment material in order to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities.

Sows and gilts

Pregnant sows and gilts must, if necessary, be treated against external and internal parasites. Tethering sows and gilts has been prohibited since 1 January 2006.

One week before farrowing, sows and gilts can be isolated. An unobstructed area must be available for natural or assisted farrowing. Boxes must be equipped with piglet protection systems.

Piglets (unweaned)

No piglets shall be weaned from the sow at less than 28 days of age unless the welfare or health of the dam or the piglet would otherwise be adversely affected.

Weaned piglets and rearing pigs

Measures shall be taken to ensure that the animals do not fight. Pigs are to be kept in groups and must not be mixed (except if necessary before weaning or during the week following weaning). Aggressive animals are to be kept away from the group (as are injured animals). Tranquilising medicaments are only to be used to facilitate mixing in exceptional conditions and after consultation with a veterinarian.

Painful operations on animals

A veterinarian or “carer”, trained in aspects relating to animal welfare is authorised to carry out the following:

  • reduction of piglets’ corner teeth,
  • docking of tails (before the seventh day of life or after this age if carried out by a veterinarian and under anaesthesia and with additional prolonged analgesia),
  • castration of males (before the seventh day of life or after this age if carried out by a veterinarian and under anaesthesia and with additional prolonged analgesia),
  • nose-ringing in outdoor husbandry systems.

Neither tail-docking nor reduction of corner teeth must be carried out routinely but only where there is evidence that injuries to sows’ teats or to other pigs’ ears or tails have occurred. Before carrying out these procedures, other measures shall be taken to prevent tail-biting and other vices, taking into account environment and stocking densities. For this reason inadequate environmental conditions or management systems must be changed.

Health

Sick or injured pigs are to be placed in individual enclosures.

Feed

The Directive also provides for standards concerning feeding in “sufficient quality” and “permanent” access to drinking water. All pigs must have access to food at the same time as other animals in the group. Animals must be fed at least once a day.

Accommodation

Standards concerning floor area are set according to the weight of the animal: between 0.15 m2 for pigs weighing less than 10 kg and 1 m2 per animal over 110 kg, 1.64 m2 per gilt, 2.25 m2 per sow, 6 m2 for a boar (10 m2 if the boar is used for natural service).

Some accommodation standards will only apply after 1 January 2013 (for buildings constructed before 2003 or after the date of accession to the EU).

Floors must be smooth but not slippery so as to prevent injury to the animals.

The lying area must be comfortable, clean and dry.

Environment

Continuous noise as loud as 85 dB is to be avoided. Light intensity is to be at least 40 lux for eight hours.

Inspections

Member States must carry out inspections each year on a statistically representative sample.

The Commission may send veterinary experts to make on-the-spot checks in the farms with the assistance of national inspectors.

Specific provisions

Member States may apply stricter provisions on their own territory than those laid down in this Directive. In this case, they shall inform the Commission of any such measures beforehand.

Context

This Directive codifies and replaces Directive 91/630/EEC and its subsequent amendments.

Key terms of the Act
  • Gilt: a female pig after puberty and before farrowing.
  • Boar: a male pig after puberty, intended for breeding.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/120/EC

10.3.2009

1.1.2008

OJ L 47 of 18.2.2009

Bluetongue

Bluetongue

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Bluetongue

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal health

Bluetongue

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2000/75/EC of 20 November 2000 laying down specific provisions for the control and eradication of bluetongue [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Directive lays down measures to control and eradicate bluetongue.

Suspected or confirmed cases of the bluetongue virus must be notified to the competent authority of the Member State concerned before implementing the required measures.

Measures for suspected cases of the disease

Where the presence of the disease is suspected in a flock, the official veterinarian is to place the holding(s) concerned under surveillance and undertake a certain number of investigative measures (surveillance of the holding, inventory of the animals and the premises, epidemiological survey, etc.) and protective measures (ban on movements of animals, treatment of animals with insecticide, destruction and disposal of animal carcases, etc.).

Measures for confirmed cases of the disease

If the presence of the disease is confirmed, the official veterinarian will extend the measures introduced on suspicion to all holdings within a 20-km radius around the infected holding(s). He will also carry out an epidemiological survey and may launch a vaccination programme around the outbreaks of bluetongue.

Where the presence of the disease is confirmed, the competent authority must establish a protection zone and a surveillance zone around the holdings.

Protection zone and surveillance zone

The protection zone will extend over a radius of at least 100 kilometres around the infected holding(s). Within that zone, all holdings with animals must be identified and the animals may not leave the zone. The competent authority must establish an epidemiological surveillance programme. A vaccination programme may also be set up within the protection zone.

The surveillance zone will extend for at least 50 kilometres beyond the protection zone. Within that zone, the measures for identification, restriction of movement and epidemiological surveillance applicable within the protection zone must be implemented. However, the vaccination of animals against bluetongue is forbidden.

The protection and surveillance zones may be extended or reduced depending on the epidemiological, geographical, ecological or meteorological circumstances.

Derogations and supplementary measures

The Commission, assisted by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health may adopt supplementary or derogatory measures. In particular provisions may be adopted to allow animals to leave the protection and surveillance zones under certain conditions.

National laboratories

Each Member State designates a national laboratory responsible for carrying out the laboratory tests provided for by this Directive and then informs the other Member States and the public of the laboratory’s contact details. Each national laboratory must cooperate with the Community reference laboratory located at Pirbright (United Kingdom).

Context

The outbreak of bluetongue at the end of the 1990s demonstrated that the Community legislation then in force did not deal with the specific features of the disease. This Directive takes over a number of measures laid down by Directive 92/35/EEC concerning African horse sickness, which were adaptable to cover bluetongue.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2000/75/EC

22.12.2000

1.1.2002

OJ L 327 of 22.12.2000

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2008/73/EC

12.12.2006

OJ L 219 of 14.8.2008

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2000/75/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

African swine fever

African swine fever

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

Topics

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].

Summary

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.

Context

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.

References

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

9.8.2002

30.6.2003

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

3.9.2008

1.1.2010

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.

Placing on the market and administration of bovine somatotrophin

Placing on the market and administration of bovine somatotrophin

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Placing on the market and administration of bovine somatotrophin

Topics

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

Food safety > Veterinary checks animal health rules food hygiene

Placing on the market and administration of bovine somatotrophin

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 1999/879/EC of 17 December 1999 concerning the placing on the market and administration of bovine somatotrophin (BST) and repealing Decision 90/218/EEC.

Summary

This Decision is intended to regulate the marketing and use of bovine somatotrophin, or bovine growth hormone, within the European Union (EU).

The Decision thus prohibits the placing on the market of bovine somatotrophin on EU territory for the purpose of its marketing and the administration thereof to dairy cows by any means whatsoever.

The production or importation of bovine somatotrophin in the Member States for the purposes of exporting it to third countries continues to be authorised.

In addition, undertakings which produce or are authorised to market somatotrophin are required to keep registers detailing, in chronological order, the quantities produced or acquired and the quantities sold or used for purposes other than placing on the market, as well as the names of the persons to whom such quantities were sold or from whom they were purchased.

Background

In accordance with Directive 2001/82/EC, no substance, with the exception of those given for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes, is to be administered to an animal unless it has been demonstrated by scientific studies of animal welfare or established experience that the effect of that substance is not detrimental to the health or welfare of the animal.

Somatotrophin is produced only to enhance milk production, and the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare (which has been replaced by the European Food Safety Authority) stated in March 1999 that somatotrophin increased the risk of infections in cattle and that it could adversely affect reproduction and induce severe reactions in cattle to which it was administered.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1999/879/EC 01.01.2000 OJ L 331 of 23.12.1999