EUR-Lex Access to European Union law
This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Protection of pigs
Directive 2008/120/EC — minimum standards for the protection of pigs
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?
It seeks to lay down minimum standards for the protection of pigs.
As well as laying down standards for the protection of pigs, the directive also lays down rules with regard to painful operations in particular: castration, caudal amputation (docking), the elimination of corner teeth, etc.
Sows and gilts
Piglets cannot be weaned from the sow before they are 28 days old unless the welfare or health of the dam or the piglet would otherwise be harmed.
Weaned piglets and rearing pigs
Painful operations on animals
Sick or injured pigs are to be placed in individual enclosures.
The directive provides for standards concerning feeding in ‘sufficient quantity’ and ‘permanent’ access to drinking water. All pigs must have access to food at the same time as other animals in the group. Animals must be fed at least once a day.
Continuous noise as loud as 85 dB is to be avoided. Light intensity is to be at least 40 lux for 8 hours.
EU countries may apply stricter rules on their own territory than those laid down in this directive. In this case, they must inform the Commission of any such measures beforehand.
Official controls regulation
Regulation (EU) 2017/625, the EU’s new legislation on the official controls of human food and animal feed, amends certain minor technical details of the directive. These changes will apply from 14 December 2019.
FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?
It has applied since 10 March 2009. The Directive 2008/120/EC is the codified version of Directive 91/630/EEC and its subsequent amendments. EU countries had to incorporate the original Directive 91/630/EEC into national law by 1994 (and its amendments by 2003).
For more information, see:
Council Directive 2008/120/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs (codified version) (OJ L 47, 18.2.2009, pp. 5–13)
Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products, amending Regulations (EC) No 999/2001, (EC) No 396/2005, (EC) No 1069/2009, (EC) No 1107/2009, (EU) No 1151/2012, (EU) No 652/2014, (EU) 2016/429 and (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulations (EC) No 1/2005 and (EC) No 1099/2009 and Council Directives 98/58/EC, 1999/74/EC, 2007/43/EC, 2008/119/EC and 2008/120/EC, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 854/2004 and (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 89/608/EEC, 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC, 96/23/EC, 96/93/EC and 97/78/EC and Council Decision 92/438/EEC (Official Controls Regulation) (OJ L 95, 7.4.2017, pp. 1–142)
Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) 2017/625 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
last update 23.10.2017