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Bovine somatotrophin — EU rules on marketing and use

Bovine somatotrophin — EU rules on marketing and use



Council Decision 1999/879/EC — the placing on the market and administration of bovine somatotrophin (BST)


  • It seeks to regulate the marketing and use of bovine somatotrophin, a bovine growth hormone used to enhance milk production, within the European Union (EU).


  • The decision prohibits the placing on the EU market of bovine somatotrophin for the purpose of its marketing and use in the treatment of dairy cows by any means whatsoever.
  • The production or importexporting of bovine somatotrophin in EU countries for the purposes ofexporting it to non-EU countries continues to be authorised.
  • In addition, undertakings which produce or are authorised to market somatotrophin are required to keep registers detailing, in chronological order, the quantities produced or acquired and the quantities sold or used for purposes other than placing on the market, as well as the names of the persons to whom such quantities were sold or from whom they were purchased.


  • In accordance with Directive 2001/82/EC, no substance, with the exception of those given for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes, is to be administered to an animal unless it has been demonstrated by scientific studies of animal welfare or established experience that its effect is not detrimental to the health or welfare of the animal.
  • Somatotrophin is produced only to enhance milk production, and the EU’s Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare (which was replaced by the European Food Safety Authority, established under Regulation (EC) No 178/2002) stated in March 1999 that the hormone increased the risk of infections and could adversely affect reproduction and induce severe reactions in cattle.


Council Decision 1999/879/EC of 17 December 1999 concerning the placing on the market and administration of bovine somatotrophin (BST) and repealing Decision 90/218/EEC (OJ L 331, 23.12.1999, pp. 71-72)

last update 11.08.2016