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Preventing the spread of animal diseases such as swine vesicular disease

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Preventing the spread of animal diseases such as swine vesicular disease



Directive 92/119/EEC — general measures for the control of certain animal diseases and specific measures relating to swine vesicular disease


It seeks to prevent the spread of animal diseases and to preserve the profitability of livestock farming by defining measures to protect animals from certain diseases.



EU countries must notify the competent authority responsible for carrying out veterinary checks of all cases of diseases covered by this directive without delay.

Animal diseases

The directive stipulates measures applicable in the event of an outbreak of bluetongue, swine vesicular disease, African swine fever or any of the following diseases:

  • rinderpest;
  • peste des petits ruminants;
  • epizootic haemorrhagic disease of deer;
  • sheep pox and goat pox;
  • vesicular stomatitis;
  • lumpy skin disease; and
  • Rift valley fever.


  • If it is suspected that animals are infected with one of the abovementioned diseases, the official veterinarian must verify the presence of that disease at the holding. For this purpose, he or she must implement investigative measures which include taking samples for laboratories.
  • The holding concerned, as well as any other holdings which may have been the source of the disease, must be placed under official surveillance. The competent authority must order a number of measures to be taken, including the census and isolation of all the categories of animals of species susceptible to the disease.
  • National laboratories, designated by the EU countries for each disease, are to coordinate the diagnostic process and the use of laboratory reagents. These laboratories are to work in cooperation with the EU’s reference laboratories.


As soon as the presence of the disease at the holding is confirmed, the competent authority is to apply measures which concern:

  • slaughter of all the animals of species susceptible to the disease;
  • treatment of materials which may be contaminated;
  • cleaning of buildings used for housing animals;
  • wild animals which may be infected.

Exceptions may be granted for healthy production units.

Furthermore, the competent authority must establish a minimum protection zone of 3 km and a minimum 10 km surveillance zone around the infected holding, where specific measures are to be applied to the animals and holdings for at least as long as the disease incubation period. The residents of these zones must be informed of the measures taken.


  • The European Commission may decide that vaccination should complement the preventive measures, though it remains an exception. In this case, the vaccinated animals must be identified by a visible mark and may not leave the vaccination area.
  • A national contingency plan is to set out, for all the EU countries, the measures to be taken in the event of an outbreak of one of the diseases covered by this directive. These plans are approved by the Commission and may be amended in the light of circumstances.

Committee procedure

The Commission is assisted by the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed.


It has applied since 8 January 1993. EU countries had to incorporate it into national law by 1 October 1993.

It will be repealed and replaced by Regulation (EU) 2016/429 from 21 April 2021.


Council Directive 92/119/EEC of 17 December 1992 introducing general Community measures for the control of certain animal diseases and specific measures relating to swine vesicular disease (OJ L 62, 15.3.1993, pp. 69–85)

Successive amendments to Directive 92/119/EEC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Council Directive 2002/60/EC of 27 June 2002 laying down specific provisions for the control of African swine fever and amending Directive 92/119/EEC as regards Teschen disease and African swine fever (OJ L 192, 20.7.2002, pp. 27–46)

See consolidated version

Council Directive 2000/75/EC of 20 November 2000 laying down specific provisions for the control and eradication of bluetongue (OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, pp. 74–83)

See consolidated version

Commission Decision 2000/428/EC of 4 July 2000 establishing diagnostic procedures, sampling methods and criteria for the evaluation of the results of laboratory tests for the confirmation and differential diagnosis of swine vesicular disease (notified under document number C(2000) 1805) (OJ L 167, 7.7.2000, pp. 22–32)

last update 26.10.2016