ANIMO is a computerised network linking veterinary authorities.

It is used to exchange information about the intra-Community trade, importation or transit in the EU of live animals, semen and embryos as well as trade in mammalian animal waste, importation of certain kind of animal products, their transit from a third country to another third country, the channelling (specific import under custom supervision) of the goods and the importation intended for free zones.


The tracking of live animals and animal products (semen, ova and embryos) which are transported between Member States is supported by the obligation of the competent authority of the Member State of origin which issued the health certificate to communicate on the same day to the central competent authority of destination and to the competent authority of the place of destination information on the consignment of animals that is being dispatched. This obligation is laid down in Article 4(2) of Council Directive 90/425/EEC pdf concerning the veterinary and zootechnical checks applicable in intra-Community trade in certain live animals and products with a view to the completion of the internal market.

The tracking of imported or channelled live animals is laid down in the Council Directive 91/496/EEC pdf of 15 July 1991 laying down the principles governing the organization of veterinary checks on animals entering the Community from third countries and amending Directives 89/662/EEC pdf, 90/425/EEC pdf and 90/675/EEC and for products in the Council Directive 97/78/EC pdf of 18 December 1997 laying down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on products entering the Community from third countries.

With a view to facilitating the exchange of this information the Commission has introduced a computerised system, ANIMO, linking the veterinary authorities of the Member States.

The main detailed rules for the ANIMO system are laid down in the following Commission Decisions:

  • 91/398/EEC on a computerised network linking veterinary authorities (ANIMO),

  • 91/638/EEC on the designation of a common host centre for the computerised network 'ANIMO',

  • 92/486/EEC establishing the form of co-operation between the ANIMO host centre and Member States,

  • 93/70/EEC on codification for the message 'ANIMO'.

  • 2002/459/CE pdf listing the units in the ANIMO computer network and repealing decision 2000/287/CE.

New developments

Nevertheless, the improvement of the system and its adaptation to new technologies is in progress. ANIMO, always keeping the same objective of information within a single European market without internal borders, is going to be integrated in a system of consultation concerning all the rules and procedures for imports of animals and animal products into the European Union. The new system is named TRACES and should be set up by the end of 2004.

TRACES, notably replacing ANIMO, will allow the electronic exchanges of the intra-Community trade certificates and the importation documents between the competent authorities in charge of the health control. The economic operators could be involved in drafting these documents. The modification of the actual specific codification towards a custom nomenclature will also allow interoperability between the different services linked to the health controls.

Click here for a Power Point Presentation of TRACES.

Questions and Answers on the Court of Auditors report on the bovine identification database (SIRB) (16 November 2004)   de fr

Modifications and improvements of Version 2.1 of TRACES fr it nl pdf



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