Prospects for cost reductions from relaxing additional cross-border measures related to livestock trade

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Compared with the domestic trade in livestock, intra-communal trade across the European Union (EU) is subject to costly, additional veterinary measures. Short-distance transportation just across a border requires more measures than long-distance domestic transportation, while the need for such additional cross-border measures can be questioned. This study examined the prospects for cost reductions from relaxing additional cross-border measures related to trade within the cross-border region of the Netherlands (NL) and Germany (GER); that is, North Rhine Westphalia and Lower Saxony. The study constructed a deterministic spread-sheet cost model to calculate the costs of both routine veterinary measures (standard measures that apply to both domestic and cross-border transport) and additional cross-border measures (extra measures that only apply to cross-border transport) as applied in 2010. This model determined costs by stakeholder, region and livestock sector, and studied the prospects for cost reduction by calculating the costs after the relaxation of additional cross-border measures. The selection criteria for relaxing these measures were (1) a low expected added value on preventing contagious livestock diseases, (2) no expected additional veterinary risks in case of relaxation of measures and (3) reasonable cost-saving possibilities. The total cost of routine veterinary measures and additional cross-border measures for the cross-border region was €22.1 million, 58% (€12.7 million) of which came from additional cross-border measures. Two-thirds of this €12.7 million resulted from the trade in slaughter animals. The main cost items were veterinary checks on animals (twice in the case of slaughter animals), export certification and control of export documentation. Four additional cross-border measures met the selection criteria for relaxation. The relaxation of these measures could save €8.2 million (€5.0 million for NL and €3.2 million for GER) annually. Farmers would experience the greatest savings (99%), and most savings resulted from relaxing additional cross-border measures related to poultry (48%), mainly slaughter broilers (GER), and pigs (48%), mainly slaughter pigs (NL). In particular, the trade in slaughter animals (dead-end hosts) is subject to measures, such as veterinary checks on both sides of the border that might not contribute to preventing contagious livestock diseases. Therefore, this study concludes that there are several possibilities for reducing the costs of additional cross-border measures in both countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-292
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • animal products
  • european-union
  • traceability
  • requirements


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