Other Live Animals

Other Live Animals

The animal health requirements for trade within the EU in live poultry and hatching eggs are laid down in Council Directive 2009/158/EC. This Directive establishes harmonised animal health guarantees needed for trade between EU countries. It does not apply to movements within an individual EU country.

Hence "other live animals" include some ruminants, Camelids (e.g. llamas, alpacas), cats and dogs (for commercial imports only), bees, apes, rabbits and hares, exotic birds, ferrets, mink, foxes, zoo animals and other exotic species. For more information on germinal material, please refer to the Semen, Ova & Embryos web section.

NB: The legislation below does not cover non-commercial movement of pet animals.


Before trade

At destination


Certain animal health requirements apply to non-EU countries before they import 'other' animals to the EU, and specific ones for the import of some species.

For most 'other' species, fully harmonised EU animal health requirements exist.

EU countries may establish animal health certificates according to national rules for the import of some species, if harmonised rules do not exist yet.

There is specific legislation on the animal health conditions in animal health certificates that accompany the animal during export.

EU legislation on imports of "other animals":

  • Regulation EU/206/2010 lists non-EU countries authorised to export certain animals and fresh meat to the EU, and the veterinary certification requirements

  • Directive 91/496/EEC - veterinary checks of animals entering the EU from non-EU countries

  • Directive 92/65/EEC - animal health requirements for trade in and imports to the EU of 'other' live animals

    Key points of Directive 92/65/EEC:

    • Harmonisation - the same import principles apply across the EU, preventing the entry of animals with infectious diseases
    • Animal health requirements before authorising imports
    • Organisation and competence of veterinary services
    • Health certificates that all animals must have
    • Conditions for certain infectious diseases

Veterinary checks

Live animals entering the EU are inspected at Border Inspection Posts. Official veterinarians examine the animal and its documentation to ensure they satisfy EU requirements. If an animal enters the EU with an EU national certificate, it is that country that organises the veterinary check. Please refer to Decision 2009/821/EC on approved border inspection posts and inspection rules for veterinary experts.

Exotic birds

Controls in non-EU countries exporting birds other than poultry to the EU prevent infected birds from entering the EU. Please refer to Regulation (EU) 139/2013 on import conditions for birds other than poultry.