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VNR: Animal Health policy: EU seeks new options (long version)

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After having dealt successfully with several food safety crises caused by animal diseases, the European Union is strongly pressed by all stakeholders to develop a more pro-active animal health policy at EU level. New approaches would help to prevent future crises and reduce the harm they might cause. Following this evaluation, DG SANCO has put together a video feature showcasing concrete examples of animal disease outbreaks and the solutions put in place to control the spread of the diseases. Bird flu Three years ago a Belgian chicken farm located in an area affected by bird flu was forced to slaughter all its animals and destroy its poultry house. The owners have now started again after putting in place strict bio-safety measures: changes of clothing and shoes, disinfection of shoes, isolation zones, double doors, etc… These measures help to prevent outbreaks of disease and associated side effects, such as financial losses. The financial impact of disease affects not only the farmers but also the local economic and social environments, as well as the consumers. Blue tongue Since July 2006, Commission officials have been mainly concerned with blue tongue disease. Cases were detected in Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands. In France, within the space of only a few months, blue tongue disease caused huge problems in the areas affected by the virus, as no single animal can be moved within a radius of 20 km around the affected farm and significant transport restrictions are applied within a second radius of 150 km. Specific treatments are given to the sick cattle to stop the virus propagating and confinement measures are applied. Prevention To avoid crises, lots of people are in favour of vaccination but it is not applicable everywhere. After a vaccination campaign lasting more than 15 years, a majority of EU Member States is rabies free. But in the advent of foot and mouth disease, vaccination would prevent meat exports to third countries.

Type: Video news release   Reference: I-052473   Date: 06/11/2006   Duration: 13:32 Location: Belgium,France,Germany  
Documents: LINKS,
© European Communities, 2006   /   Source: EC - Audiovisual Service
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