Animal health and welfare


Animal health

The rules in force are designed to protect and raise the health status and conditions of animals in the EEA, in particular production animals, while at the same time permitting intra-EEA trade and imports of animals and animal products in accordance with appropriate health standards and international obligations.

Where there is an outbreak of serious animal disease in the EFTA States, the states are obliged to notify this to the Authority. The Authority has various duties regarding the review of measures taken by the EFTA State concerned, in order to minimize the harm caused by the outbreak.

During non-outbreak periods, the Authority examines contingency plans submitted by the EFTA States to ensure that they satisfy the objectives of the relevant EEA legislation.

Animal welfare

The general aim of EEA legislation regarding animal welfare is to ensure that animals do not endure avoidable pain or suffering. It is based on five basic freedoms:

  • freedom from discomfort
  • freedom from hunger and thirst
  • freedom from fear and distress
  • freedom from pain, injury and disease
  • freedom to express natural behaviour

The legislation covers the handling of animals from birth to death (breeding, transport and slaughter). It also covers the culling of large numbers of animals in emergency disease situations.

The provisions contained in Chapter I (Veterinary matters) of Annex I to the EEA Agreement shall apply to Iceland, except for the provisions concerning live animals, other than fish and aquaculture animals, and animal products such as ova, embryo and semen. Annex I to the EEA Agreement does not apply to Liechtenstein.


Other EEA Institutions

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