Preventing animal diseases

Animal diseases pose a risk to public health and cause damage to businesses and the economy at large. Farmers and the government therefore take every precaution to prevent these diseases, such as keeping animal housing clean and vaccinating livestock.

Preventing animal disease

Farmers are responsible for the health of their livestock. Sometimes, the government has to step in and help prevent or combat a disease. This is necessary if a disease is exceptionally infectious or dangerous. Livestock farmers must:

  • ensure adequate hygiene at their place of business;
  • be alert to symptoms of disease;
  • report (suspected) animal diseases to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority;
  • comply with requirements when importing animals from countries outside the European Union (EU);
  • vaccinate their animals if possible and necessary.

The government monitors animal health

The government monitors animal health, together with other organisations, including the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. This enables them to:

  • take immediate action in the event of an outbreak of infectious animal disease;
  • identify and track outbreaks of animal disease;
  • identify the causes of animal diseases that do not normally occur in the Netherlands;
  • identify new animal diseases.

Importing animals and animal products

Trading in animals can bring diseases to the Netherlands. To prevent this, transporters can use the Import Veterinair Online system (in Dutch). It tells them how they can safely import live animals or animal products into the EU. Examples of animal products are wool, meat, dairy products and hunting trophies.

Travellers can also bring animal diseases into the country. That is why they can only import live animals or animal products if they satisfy strict requirements.

Measures taken in the Netherlands in the event of outbreaks of animal diseases abroad

When an infectious animal disease occurs in other countries, in or outside the EU, there is a chance that it may spread to the Netherlands. If there is a heightened risk, the government can take extra measures. There may be stricter border controls of travellers and goods, and animal transport may be controlled more strictly or even banned.