Importation rules for
ovine and caprine animals solely govern the
introduction of ovine and caprine animals into
the EU from third countries.
1. Ovine and caprine animals must fulfil
animal health requirements
laid down in
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 ovine
and caprine animals.
objective of this harmonisation is to
make sure that the
same principles for importation of
sheep and goats are applied in all the Member
prevent animals from entering EU
infectious diseases that are dangerous
for livestock or humans.
- Directive 72/462/EEC
animal health principles on which
importation is based, and the requirements to
be fulfilled by a third country to be
authorised to export ovine and caprine
animals. The most important aspects are:
legislation of the third country.
health status of livestock, of other
domestic animals and wild life.
- the regularity
and rapidity of
information on infectious animal
diseases provided by the third country to
the Commission and the world animal health
country's rules on the prevention
and control of animal diseases.
organisation, structure, competence
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.
foot-and-mouth disease, bluetongue, sheep and
goat pox and rinderpest).
- 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 sheep and
goats into the EU,
the Commission's Food and Veterinary
carries out a mission
to verify that all the criteria
provided for in Directive 72/462/EC are
3. Based on the principles contained in
Directive 72/462/EEC and on the results of the
the third country may be added to the list
of third countries authorised for the export
of sheep and goats
as laid down in
. For a
third country wanting to export ovine and
caprine animals to the EU it must be listed in
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
further steps are
needed before exports of live sheep ands goats
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 ovine and
caprine animals entering the EU.
In the case of
ovine and caprine animals for slaughter,
breeding and production
, the animal
health conditions and veterinary
certification for imports are laid down in
February 1993, as last amended. This includes
specific conditions under which imported
animals may be recognised as fulfilling
equivalent Brucellosis-free status as the EU
flock of destination.
The third countries
from which Member States can authorise imports
of sheep and goats are listed in
description of the approved region of the
country is also given where appropriate. The
Decision also recognises those third countries
that satisfy the requirements for
(However, as from 1st May 2004, the
model animal health certificate for ovine and
caprine imports will be consolidated within
Council Decision 79/452/EC (and the above two
Decisions will be revoked)
Live animals entering the Community are
inspected at a Border Inspection Post
(BIP) (as listed in
December 2001) where Member States' official
veterinarians ensure they are healthy and
fulfil all the requirements provided for in the
European legislation. (
of 15 July
1991 lays down the principles governing the
organisation of veterinary checks on animals
entering the Community from third
6. It should be noted that in order to
import live ovine and caprine animals,
third countries must also comply with
certain public health requirements
. For example, a country is required to
have an approved '
Animals of a lower Community health status
cannot transit the Community.
A summary providing '
General guidance for third country
authorities on procedures to be followed when
importing live animals and animal products into
the EU' can be found [