Animal Products

Animal Products in Europe

Working Party on Animal Products

This is a joint working group reporting to the SCA on beef and veal, sheep meat and goat meat, pig meat, eggs and poultry, milk and milk products and beekeeping and honey.

More details about Working Party on Animal Products

Animal By-Products

The risk resulting from fallen livestock and condemned materials depends on (i) the origin (source) of the material, (ii) the reason why the animal died or was killed or the reason for condemnation, (iii) whether or not this cause or reason can reliably be acceptable ( EU, 1999). However, humans should never be exposed to the risks of fallen stock and condemned materials, via products that could be recycled from them. If the reason why an animal died or was killed or the cause of a material to be condemned is unknown or suspect, such material should be disposed of. Ways of disposal depend upon the risk and vary from incineration to recycling into products for exclusive technical use. If the cause of death of an animal or the reason for material to be condemned can be determined positively, and the potential resulting risk for humans, animals and the environment can be eliminated/neutralised by appropriate processing (which implies the exclusion of any TSE risk), the material can be recycled into animal feed or for technical uses.

Materials that present an actual or potential TSE risk should be disposed of. Ways of disposal vary according to the level of risk, from incineration (if there is an actual TSE risk) to recycling in products for exclusive technical use (e.g., specified risk materials from healthy animals otherwise found fit for slaughter and consumption) ( EU, 1999). Scientific evidences show that the degradation process essential to ensure reduction of BSE/ TSE infectivity cannot be guaranteed by burial. Even after burial Scrapie infected material can persist in the soil for years and present a source of infection. Improper burial can also cause pollution problems and act as a vector for the transmission of disease to man, animals, birds, & insects. Therefore, from May the 1 st 2003 the only legal methods of disposal has been rendering or incineration and any on-farm burial and burning of animal carcases is forbidden.
The EU Animal By-Products Regulation based on a wide-ranging review by the European Commission of the Animal Waste Directive (90/667/ EEC), lays down the health rules governing the disposal and processing of animal by-products not intended for human consumption. This EU Regulation has been adopted and implemented in member States.

In Scotland the EU regulation is enforced along with some national requirements reflected in The Animal By-Products (Scotland) Regulations 2003. These regulations make it illegal to bury or burn fallen stock on-farm (Scottish Government, 2003a).

Moving live animals or animal products as part of EU trade

This includes the following topics descibed below:

  • Countries and animals covered by EU trade
  • Moving horses and ponies
  • Moving animal products and animal by-products (ABPs)
  • Moving endangered species
  • Display, laboratory, and research animals
  • Animal welfare
  • Imports and exports

Countries and animals covered by EU trade

If you’re moving the following animals or animal products within the EU, or Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, this is considered EU trade:

  • cattle
  • sheep and goats
  • pigs
  • horses
  • poultry and hatching eggs
  • germplasm (semen, ova and embryos of cattle, sheep, pigs and goats)
  • rabbits and hares
  • cats, dogs and ferrets
  • non-domestic ungulates (camelids, alpacas, llamas, non-domestic bovines, deer, pronghorns)

Moving horses and ponies

When you need an export welfare declaration

If you’re moving horses and ponies in or outside of the EU, you must print and complete an export welfare declaration form for your consignment, unless you have an exemption.

The Tripartite Agreement (TPA)

The Tripartite Agreement (TPA) allows special conditions for moving horses between France, the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Moving animal products and animal by-products (ABPs)

Paperwork you need to move animal products

You can transport animal products that are intended for human consumption, like meat, dairy and eggs, without a health certificate, but they must be accompanied by a commercial document.

The commercial document should include details of the contents of the consignment, plus the name of the person who sent it and the person it’s being sent to.

If you’re sending the animal products, it’s your responsibility to complete the commercial document.

If you’re receiving them, the person who’s sending them to you must complete it.

If you place animal products on the market, they must come from an approved establishment.

Paperwork you need to move animal by-products (ABPs)

Most ABPs (animal products not intended for human consumption, eg carcasses or blood) must be accompanied by a commercial document.

Moving endangered species

There are more than 25,000 endangered species covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

It covers plants and animal and their parts and derivatives.

If you’re moving an endangered species into your country from an EU country, you may need a permit.

Display, laboratory, and research animals

The Balai Directive sets out the regulations for importing display, laboratory and research animals, as well as those used in conservation or education programmes.

Animal welfare

You must make sure you meet animal welfare standards when trading live animals.

Imports and exports

If you’re moving animals or animal products from your country or the EU to a non-EU country, this is considered exporting – find out how you must export.

If you’re moving animals or animal products into Great Britain or the EU from a non-EU country, this is considered importing.

Importing live animals or animal products from non-EU countries

Commercial imports

Commercial imports of most animals and products of animal origin are covered by EU legislation.

Consignments should be accompanied by appropriate certification and must enter the EU through a border inspection post where checks are carried out to ensure that import conditions have been met. In most cases, you do not need an import licence or authorisation.

Compliance with animal health and welfare controls does not remove the need to comply with other relevant legislation, including those relating to the control of trade in endangered species.

Checking if you need a licence

General licences

Certain animals and products of animal origin including some that are covered by European Union regulations must have an import licence or authorisation to be imported into your country.

If the general licence or authorisation you need exists, you don’t have to apply, but you must make sure you follow the conditions in the published licence.

Some general licences must travel with the consignment – check your general licence to see if this is the case.

Specific licences

If the general licence you need doesn’t exist, you must apply for a specific licence for that product.

Where you can import from

You can only bring live animals or animal products into the EU from countries on the EU’s approved list. The lists of approved countries is often included at the back of the EU regulations that govern the movement.

When you need a health certificate

If you’re importing live animals and animal products, you must make sure the exporter you’re working with gets the health certificate required by EU or national law.

When you need a commercial document

You may also need your consignment to be accompanied by a commercial document.

The exporter should draw up the commercial document and should include amongst other things:

  • a description of what you’re importing
  • the names of the importer and the exporter.

Personal imports

You can bring any fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy or other animal products (eg eggs, honey) into the UK if you’re travelling from a country in the EU.

You can’t bring meat, meat products, milk, dairy products or potatoes into the UK from most countries outside the EU.

Display, laboratory, and research animals

The Balai Directive sets out the regulations for importing display, laboratory and research animals, as well as those used in conservation or education programmes.

Exporting live animals and animal products to non-EU countries

See the information about the following animals, plants and agricultural products:

livestock, poultry and bees
horses and ponies
fish and shellfish
other live animals
food and agricultural products
animal feed and pet food
products made from endangered animals
bones, protein and other animal by-products
semen, ova and embryos
plants, seeds, bulbs and wood

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