Live animals


Live animals are a special type of "goods". The term covers all living animals including hatching eggs. Live animals are classified into subcategories according to their nature.

Livestock and production animals are domestic animals and poultry intended for breeding, production  of milk, meat and eggs or labor.

Slaughter animals are domestic animal species (horses, cows, porks, sheeps, goats) and domestic poultry (chickens, turkeys, guinea fowls, ducks, geese, pheasants and quails) intended to be slaughtered as soon as they arrive in the destination country.

Pets are animals that receive the protection of humans in exchange for their presence alone, their beauty or their talents.

Obligations and controls

The movement of animals is regulated by law whether during intra-Community exchanges, on import or export.

Certain types of animal or animals originating from certain countries represent a risk for human and animal health. A country can then refuse their import on its territory or restrict it by imposing specific conditions.

The European Commission regularly publishes a list of third countries from which the importation of certain animals to the European Union is authorized.

Companies involved in the transport of animals must ensure the well-being of those animals during transport and make sure that they have water, food, enough space and adequate rest time for the duration of their travel. They must be approved by the Administration of Veterinary Services (ASV) acting on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, as well as their equipment and have specially-qualified personnel to transport animals.

Specific procedures must be followed depending on whether the animals are production animals, pets or species protected by the CITES convention.

For export and intra-Community movements, the ASV verifies the health condition of the animals prior to their transport and guarantees their traceability in order to prevent the spread of diseases.  Certificates are establiished in the TRACES system which allows to trace the movement of the animals.

Related documents

Each animal must be accompanied by official documents:

  • A health certificate certifying that the animal meets Community requirements or those of the third country of destination with respect to animal health
  • A road map indicating the details of the travel from the place of loading to the destination (addresses, dates and times of departure and arrival, number of animals transported, date of vehicle disinfection etc.).

In the case of import or transit in the European Union (EU), a Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) is delivered after control at the first entry point into the EU by the Border Inspection Post (BIP).

The use of an ATA carnet may be useful to avoid payment of customs duties in the case of temporary movements of animals for participation in competitions, fairs, expositions, or for veterinary care. The ATA Carnet does not substitute for a health certificate.

For species protected by the CITES convention, a CITES permit is required on import and export. 

Related procedures

The procedures related to life aninals are described on the website:

Related organizations

The Administration of Veterinary Services is in charge of monitoring compliance with laws and regulations for animal health conditions. It performs many controls and issues health certificates for animals and CITES permits for protected animal species.

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