Porcine Animals

Porcine Animals

​Movement of porcine species into Malta is clearly defined in relation of the purpose of the movement in: INTRA-UNION TRADE or IMPORTATION.

Intra-Union trade

The intra-Union trade rules for porcine animals solely govern the movement between EU Member States.

Requirements before and during dispatch:

The animal health requirements for intra-Union trade in porcine animals are laid down in Council Directive 64/432/EEC of 26 June 1964. This Directive, which has been amended several times, harmonises the rules for intra-Union trade in pigs and establishes the animal health guarantees needed for the trade in these animals between the Member States.

The objective of this harmonisation is to ensure that the same requirements are applied for trade between all the Member States thereby ensuring the safe and free circulation of the animals in the EU territory. 

The Directive lays down precise rules (e.g. prohibition of contact with other animals during the travel, cleaning and disinfection of means of transport, etc.) to be respected during the movement of pigs from the holding of origin to the final destination (another holding or a slaughterhouse) to try to avoid any possible spread of serious disease in the EU. These movements may involve the use of approved assembly centres. 

In addition there are rules regarding the health status in relation to animal diseases (e.g. Classical swine feverAfrican swine feverSwine vesicular disease​). Prior to intra-Union trade, the competent authority in the Member State of origin must ensure that porcine animals come from a holding or area that is not subject to any prohibition or restriction for reasons of animal diseases affecting porcine animals. 

Moreover, Article 9 of Directive 64/432/EEC provides that a Member State, which has a compulsory national control programme for one of the contagious diseases listed in Annex E(II) to that Directive, may submit its programme to the Commission for approval. That Article also provides for the definition of the additional guarantees which may be required in intra-Union trade.

Article 10 of Directive 64/432/EEC provides that where a Member State considers that its territory or part thereof is free from one of the diseases listed in Annex E(II) to that Directive, it is to present appropriate supporting documentation to the Commission. That Article also provides for the definition of the additional guaranteeswhich may be required in intra-Union trade. 

Commission Decision 2008/185/EC of 21 February 2008 sets out a list of Member States or regions thereof free of Aujeszky’s disease and where vaccination is prohibited in Annex I thereto. Annex II to that Decision establishes a list of Member States or regions thereof where disease control programme for that disease are in place. 

Traceability is a key component of animal health control. Hence animals must be appropriately identified to ensure that when animals are presented for dispatch to another Member State, they can be subsequently accounted for on arrival at the place of destination. 

The Directive provides also for a harmonised veterinary health certificate in which, prior to dispatch, an official veterinarian attests that the animals fulfil all the requirements for intra-Union trade. This accompanies the animal and the movement must be recorded in TRACES​. If assembly centres are involved, additional veterinary certification is required.

At the destination

Because there are no border controls for movements between the Member States, non-discriminatory spot checks are carried out at the point of origin and at the destination according to Council Directive 90/425/EEC, as last amended, to ensure that consignments are in compliance with the guarantees provided by the health certificate.

The TRACES tracking system provides an important tool to ensure compliance because it allows the receiving Member State (Malta) to verify that the consignment arriving at the destination corresponds to that specified in the original accompanying veterinary health certificate from the Member State of origin.


Importation rules for porcine animals solely govern the introduction of porcine animals into the EU from third countries.

The following rules must be respected before pigs can be imported into Malta:

1. Porcine animals must fulfil the animal health requirements laid down in Council Directive 72/462/EEC of 12 December 1972. This Directive, which has been amended several times, harmonises the rules and establishes the general animal health conditions for the import into the territory of the Community of porcine animals.

The objective of this harmonisation is to make sure that the same principles for importation of pigs are applied in all the Member States and prevent animals from entering EU territory carrying infectious diseases that are dangerous for livestock or humans. 

Directive 72/462/EEC describes the animal health principles on which importation is based, and the requirements to be fulfilled by a third country to be authorised to export pigs. The most important aspects are: 

o the legislation of the third country. 

o the health status of livestock, of other domestic animals and wild life. 

o the regularity and rapidity of information on infectious animal diseases provided by the third country to the Commission and the world animal health organisation ( OIE). 

o the country's rules on the prevention and control of animal diseases. 

o the organisation, structure, competence and power of the veterinary services. 

In addition, other more specific conditions are laid down in this Directive as regards certain infectious diseases. For example, third countries have to be free from the most important diseases (e.g. rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, African and classical swine fever etc). 

Under Directive 72/462/EEC it is possible to regionalise a country. This means that depending on the animal health situation and the guarantees offered by that country, only a part of its territory may be authorised to export to the EU. 

2. Before a third country or part of it is initially authorised to export pigs into the EU, the Commission's Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) carries out a mission to verify that all the criteria provided for in Directive 72/462/EC are properly fulfilled.

3. Based on the principles contained in Directive 72/462/EEC and on the results of the FVO mission, the third country may be added to the list of third countries authorised for the export of pigs as laid down in Council Decision 79/542/EEC. For a third country wanting to export pigs to the EU it must be listed in this Decision.

4. When a third country or part thereof has been listed in Council Decision 79/452/EEC, then it is approved in principle for export to the EU. However, further steps are needed before exports of live pigs can take place. An assessment of the specific disease situation is carried out. Special conditions may be required to minimise potential disease risks. These conditions will be laid down in specific decisions and are reflected in the requirements laid down in the veterinary animal health certificate, which must accompany all porcine animals entering the EU.

The animal health conditions and vet certification for imports of porcine animals for slaughter, breeding and production are in Regulation EU 206/2010​ together with a list of authorised non-EU countries and a description of approved country regions where relevant.

5. Live animals entering the Community (MALTA) are inspected at a Border Inspection Post (BIP) (as listed in Commission Decision 2001/881/EC of 7 December 2001) where the official veterinarians ensure they are healthy and fulfil all the requirements provided for in the European legislation. ( Council Directive 91/496/EEC of 15 July 1991 lays down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on animals entering the Community from third countries).

6. It should be noted that in order to import live porcine animals, third countries must also comply with certain public health requirements. For example, a country is required to have an approved ' residue' plan.

7. Animals of a lower Community health status cannot transit the Community.