The new regulation means that a huge number of legal acts are streamlined into a single law, with simpler and clearer rules which enable authorities to focus on key priorities: preventing and eradicating diseases. The regulation, which was adopted by the European Parliament and Council in March 2016, clarifies responsibilities for farmers, vets and others dealing with animals, and allows for greater use of new technologies for animal health activities - surveillance of pathogens, electronic identification and registration of animals. It embraces a One Health approach allowing for better early detection & control of animal diseases, including those that can be transmissible to humans. The law will help to reduce the occurrence and effects of animal epidemics, as well as offering more flexibility to adjust rules to local circumstances and to emerging issues such as climate and social change. It also sets out a better legal basis for monitoring animal pathogens resistant to antimicrobial agents. Overall, the single, comprehensive and new Animal Health Law supports the EU livestock and aquaculture sectors in their quest towards better competitiveness and a safe and smooth EU market of animals and of their products, leading to growth and jobs in these important sectors.
The Animal Health Law was part of a package of measures proposed by the Commission in May 2013 to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain. As such, it is closely linked to Regulation (EU) 2017/625 ("Official Controls Regulation"). The Animal Health Law is also a key output of the Animal Health Strategy 2007-2013, "Prevention is better than cure".
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- Publication date
- 21 April 2021
- Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety
- Directorate Health and Safety