Council Directive 2008/119/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of calves (Codified version)

Published date14 December 2019
Subject Matterlegislazione veterinaria,legislación veterinaria,législation vétérinaire
Official Gazette PublicationGazzetta ufficiale dell’Unione europea, L 10, 15 gennaio 2009,Diario Oficial de la Unión Europea, L 10, 15 de enero de 2009,Journal officiel de l’Union européenne, L 10, 15 janvier 2009
Consolidated TEXT: 32008L0119 — EN — 14.12.2019

02008L0119 — EN — 14.12.2019 — 001.001

This text is meant purely as a documentation tool and has no legal effect. The Union's institutions do not assume any liability for its contents. The authentic versions of the relevant acts, including their preambles, are those published in the Official Journal of the European Union and available in EUR-Lex. Those official texts are directly accessible through the links embedded in this document

►B COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2008/119/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of calves (Codified version) (OJ L 010 15.1.2009, p. 7)

Amended by:

Official Journal
No page date
►M1 REGULATION (EU) 2017/625 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 15 March 2017 L 95 1 7.4.2017

Corrected by:

►C1 Corrigendum, OJ L 137, 24.5.2017, p. 40 (2017/625)



of 18 December 2008

laying down minimum standards for the protection of calves

(Codified version)

Article 1

This Directive lays down the minimum standards for the protection of calves confined for rearing and fattening.

Article 2

For the purposes of this Directive, the following definitions shall apply:

1. ‘calf’ means a bovine animal up to six months old;


2. ‘competent authorities’ means competent authorities as defined in Article 3(3) of Regulation ►C1 (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 1 ).


Article 3

1. From 1 January 1998, the following provisions shall apply on all newly built or rebuilt holdings and on all those brought into use after that date:

(a) no calf shall be confined in an individual pen after the age of eight weeks, unless a veterinarian certifies that its health or behaviour requires it to be isolated in order to receive treatment. The width of any individual pen for a calf shall be at least equal to the height of the calf at the withers, measured in the standing position, and the length shall be at least equal to the body length of the calf, measured from the tip of the nose to the caudal edge of the tuber ischii (pin bone), multiplied by 1,1.

Individual pens for calves (except those for isolating sick animals) must not have solid walls, but perforated walls which allow the calves to have direct visual and tactile contact;

(b) for calves kept in groups, the unobstructed space allowance available to each calf shall be at least equal to 1,5 m2 for each calf of a live weight of less than 150 kilograms, at least equal to 1,7 m2 for each calf of a live weight of 150 kilograms or more but less than 220 kilograms, and at least equal to 1,8 m2 for each calf of a live weight of 220 kilograms or more.

However, the provisions of the first subparagraph shall not apply to:

(a) holdings with fewer than six calves;

(b) calves kept with their mothers for suckling.

2. From 31 December 2006, the provisions provided for in paragraph 1 shall apply to all holdings.

Article 4

Member States shall ensure that the conditions for rearing calves comply with the general provisions laid down in Annex I.

Article 5

The general provisions in Annex I may be amended in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 10(2) in order to take account of scientific progress.

Article 6

By 1 January 2006, the Commission shall submit to the Council a report, drawn up on the basis of an opinion from the European Food Safety Authority, on the intensive farming system(s) which comply with the requirements of the well-being of calves from the pathological, zootechnical, physiological and behavioural point of view, as well as the socioeconomic implications of different systems, together with proposals relevant to the report’s conclusions.

Article 7

▼M1 —————


3. Member States shall submit to the Commission by 31 August each year an annual report for the previous year on the inspections carried out by the competent authority to check compliance with the requirements of this Directive. The report shall be accompanied by an analysis of the most serious findings of non–compliance and a national action plan to prevent or decrease their occurrence for the forthcoming years. The Commission shall submit summaries of those reports to the Member States.


Article 8

In order to be imported into the Community, animals coming from a third country must be accompanied by a certificate issued by the competent authority of that country, certifying that they have received treatment at least equivalent to that granted to animals of Community origin as provided for by this Directive.

▼M1 —————


Article 10

1. The Commission shall be assisted by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health set up pursuant to Article 58 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety ( 2 ).

2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 5 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.

The period laid down in Article 5(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at three months.

Article 11

Member States may, in compliance with the general rules of the Treaty, maintain or apply within their territories stricter provisions for the protection of calves than those laid down in this Directive. They shall inform the Commission of any such measures.

Article 12

Directive 91/629/EEC, as amended by the Acts listed in Annex II, Part A, is repealed...

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