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Health and Consumer Protection

Press releases

Brussels, 27 February 2001

Foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom

The Standing Veterinary Committee (SVC) today gave a favourable opinion on a Commission proposal to extend until 9 March 2001 the existing protective measures adopted in response to outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom. The dispatch of live animals, fresh meat and meat products, milk and milk products and other animal products from the UK continues to be prohibited, unless the latter are treated appropriately. The proposal will be formally adopted by the Commission in the next few days and shall be reviewed at the meeting of the SVC scheduled for 6 and 7 March 2001.

Since 20 February 2001 outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease have been declared in the United Kingdom. To date, 15 outbreaks have been confirmed in several regions of Great Britain. In addition to the measures provided for in the framework of a Council Directive introducing Community measures for the control of foot-and-mouth disease, the UK authorities have applied additional measures to contain and eliminate the disease. A total standstill of animals susceptible to the disease has been decided in Great Britain. The implementation of a complete standstill is a painful but necessary measure, which is supported by all MS.

The European Commission and Member States welcome the measures taken by the United Kingdom and appreciate the close and effective co-operation between their services. However, the disease situation requires to prolong until the 9 March the additional Community protective measures to restrict the dispatch of live susceptible animals and products derived from such animals from UK, adopted by the Commission on 21 February 2001

In particular it is prohibited to dispatch:

- live susceptible animals (bovine, ovine, caprine and porcine species and other biungulates) and their germinal products from the United Kingdom;

- products, notably fresh meat and meat products, milk and milk products, hides and skins and other animal products from the same species from the United Kingdom unless these products are obtained before 1 February 2001 or have been treated in a way that the risk to spread the food-and-mouth disease virus is avoided.

The Commission also supports quarantine and surveillance measures taken by Member States. The SVC also calls upon all interested parties and in particular the farming community to enhance disease awarenes. All MS are also ready to give the necessary assistance to the UK to combat the disease. The veterinary authorithies of the Member States and the Commission give absolute priority to the control and eradication of this disease.

The Commission continues to actively monitoring the situation with the full co-operation of the UK veterinary health authorities. The situation will be reviewed at a meeting of the Standing Veterinary Committee on 6 and 7 March 2001.

Released on 28/02/2001

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FOOD SAFETY | PUBLIC HEALTH | CONSUMER PROTECTION | DIRECTORATE GENERAL "HEALTH & CONSUMER PROTECTION"

 
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