29 Jun

Interview with Cristina Massot – Animal Health in Europe after April 2021

This interview will provide you information about the new regulatory framework regarding Animal Health in Europe in the coming months and years.

Interview with Cristina Massot – Animal Health in Europe after April 2021

Cristina Massot Berna has a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the UAB and a Diploma in Health from the National School of Health and the Carlos III Institute, having worked as Head of the Animal Health Prevention Service of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food of the Generalitat of Catalonia, currently holds the position of Policy Coordinator – Seconded National Expert of the European Commission

What are the functions you currently carry out as Policy Coordinator of the European Commission?

Since I arrived in Brussels in September 2017, my work, together with that of my colleagues in the Animal Health and Welfare Unit, has focused on drafting the delegated and implementing acts that supplement the new Animal Health Law (Regulation (EU) 2016/429) considered “essential” for its implementation in April 2021.

In particular, I am involved in the development of the following delegated regulations:

The one on health requirements for the import of animals, reproductive products and animal products

The one on control measures to be applied in the event of outbreaks of category A diseases

The one on the movement of products of animal origin in the European Union (EU)

I have also been involved in the drafting of other regulations in the same package which are closely related: the list of diseases for which action must be taken at EU level, the regulation categorizing them and establishing the list of species susceptible to those diseases; the regulation on the surveillance and eradication of diseases and the regulation on the movement of animals within the EU.

Some of these “essential” acts have already been published and others will soon be adopted by the European Commission. I am currently focusing on the drafting phase of the associated implementing acts. In particular, on the development of the various import certificates for live animals and products of animal origin, as well as the lists of third countries authorized to import animals and products of animal origin into the EU. Furthermore, I participate in the day-to-day management of issues related to the imports of animals and products into the EU under the current regulations.

What will be the new developments in this legislation on Animal Health? Will there be any major changes that will affect the management of farms?

The new Animal Health Law establishes a new legislative framework for animal health. If we analyze the European legislation developed in this field over the last 50 years, we will see that it focuses mainly on the requirements for the movement of animals and certain products between Member States and the control measures in case of confirmation of the diseases considered to be more serious.

This has led to very specific and complex rules for the eradication of certain diseases, such as tuberculosis and brucellosis, and to very specific rules for the control of outbreaks of other diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease or avian influenza. It is important to note that the current legislation is vertical in nature, has developed progressively and is therefore not always consistent.

The new legislative framework provides more flexibility for Member States and also more transparency, since everything that the Commission must and can develop is regulated in the basic law.

The entry into force of the new legislative framework implies the establishment, for the first time, of basic rules that will govern from now on and in a harmonised manner the organisation and operation of the livestock sector, as well as the development of more specific rules in this area. It establishes for the first time a series of harmonised obligations at EU level in relation to livestock management and the obligations of those who, by virtue of their activity and profession, are involved in the rearing and transport of animals and the production of food of animal origin.

In the specific case of livestock management, certain countries as Spain will have to adapt the existing rules to the new legal basis. It is important to note that from April 2021, all facilities where animals are raised and housed on a permanent or temporary basis must have a unique registration number.

What will be the scope of this new regulation?


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