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Measures for controlling classical swine fever

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Measures for controlling classical swine fever



Council Directive 2001/89/EC — controlling classical swine fever


It aims to introduce measures to control and eradicate classical swine fever, a highly contagious and fatal disease in pigs, based on rapid detection, isolation and slaughter.


EU countries must ensure that suspected and confirmed outbreaks of classical swine fever are notified to the relevant national authority and that enquiries are set up.

Suspected outbreaks

Where an outbreak is suspected, there must be an immediate investigation. If an outbreak is not ruled out, the holding must be placed under official surveillance and:

  • all pigs must be isolated, listed as sick, dead or likely to be infected, and none may enter or leave;
  • no carcases, pig products, or other materials, such as utensils, likely to transmit swine fever can be moved out without official authorisation;
  • no unauthorised movement of people or vehicles to or from the holding is allowed;
  • entrances and exits must be disinfected, as well as all vehicles before leaving.

Confirmed outbreaks

When swine fever is officially confirmed in a holding, the following additional measures apply:

  • all pigs must be killed without delay;
  • samples are taken to understand the course of the disease;
  • carcases must be processed under official supervision;
  • meat from possibly infected pigs slaughtered prior to these measures, and any semen, ova and embryos, must if possible be traced and destroyed;
  • contaminated substances and materials must be treated or destroyed;
  • affected buildings must be disinfected or treated.

Protection and surveillance zones

  • Immediately after a confirmed outbreak, the authorities must set up a protection zone of at least 3km around the holding concerned, within a 10km surveillance zone, and the following measures apply:
    • movement of pigs is banned, with few exceptions;
    • vehicles and equipment must be cleaned, disinfected and treated;
    • no other domestic animal can enter or leave without authorisation (in the surveillance zone, this applies during the first 7 days);
    • dead or diseased pigs must be notified immediately;
    • pigs cannot be moved in or out for 30 days (in the surveillance zone, 21 days) after cleaning and disinfection, after which they may be allowed to move for slaughter or processing;
    • semen, ova and embryos must be isolated;
    • everybody entering or leaving must observe appropriate hygiene.
  • If there is an outbreak in a slaughterhouse or means of transport, animals possibly infected must be killed. New animals must not be allowed in for 24 hours after disinfection, while possibly contaminated carcasses, offal and animal waste must be processed under official supervision.

Feral pigs *

  • In a confirmed outbreak among feral pigs, national expert groups determine the infected area and the action to be taken. Pig holdings in the area must be put under surveillance and pigs kept isolated from feral pigs.
  • EU countries must submit eradication plans to the European Commission within 90 days, including guidance to hunters and methods of disposal of carcases. A 6-monthly progress report goes to the Commission and other EU countries.


Vaccines are normally prohibited, but countries can submit emergency plans to the Commission.

Contingency plans

Each EU country must draw up a contingency plan in the event of an outbreak of classical swine fever, and must be able to bring a national disease control centre into action immediately when an outbreak occurs.

Catering waste

EU countries must ensure that catering waste is no longer fed to pigs.


  • It has applied from 1 December 2001. EU countries have to incorporate it into national law by 31 October 2002.
  • This directive has been repealed by Regulation (EU) 2016/429 which will take effect from 21 April 2021.


For more information, see:


feral pigs: pigs not kept or bred on a holding.


Council Directive 2001/89/EC of 23 October 2001 on Community measures for the control of classical swine fever (OJ L 316, 1.12.2001, pp. 5–35)

Successive amendments to Directive 2001/89/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 06.12.2016