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Health and Consumer Protection

Press releases

Brussels, 13 March 2001

Foot-and-mouth disease in France

The Standing Veterinary Committee (SVC) today gave a favourable opinion on a Commission proposal to take additional protective measures following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the département of Mayenne in France. The dispatch of species of live animals which are susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease from anywhere in France is prohibited. In addition, the consignment of fresh meat and meat products, milk and milk products and other animal products from these species from the départements of Mayenne and Orne is prohibited, unless these products are treated appropriately. The proposal will now be adopted by the Commission. It will be applicable until 27 March and will be reviewed at the meeting of the SVC scheduled for 20 and 21 March 2001.

An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease was confirmed today on a dairy cattle farm in the département of Mayenne in France. The farm is located approximately 500 metres from a farm which had imported sheep from the United Kingdom on 16 February, before foot-and-mouth disease was detected there. A protection and surveillance zone had been set up around this farm and around the other farms in France which had imported animals from the United Kingdom.

Following the outbreak of the disease in the United Kingdom, on 8 March the Commission had already adopted restrictions on movements of animals susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease throughout the European Union. Such animals must not be taken to livestock markets or assembly points and all movement of such animals is prohibited, except for direct transport to abattoirs or direct transfers from one farm to another, subject to authorisation from the competent authorities.

The Commission and the Member States have decided, however, to tighten the current measures to combat foot-and-mouth disease and to adopt interim Community protective measures to further restrict the movement of live susceptible animals and products derived from such animals in France.

In particular, it will be prohibited to move:

- live susceptible animals (bovine, ovine, caprine and porcine species and other biungulates) and their germinal products from France to other Member States and third countries;

- products, notably fresh meat and meat products, milk and milk products, hides and skins and other animal products from the same species from the départements of Mayenne and Orne to other French regions, Member States and third countries, unless these products were obtained before 16 February 2001 or have been treated in a way that the risk of spreading the food-and-mouth disease virus is avoided.

The Commission is actively monitoring the situation with the full cooperation of the veterinary health authorities in the Member States. The situation will be reviewed at a meeting of the Standing Veterinary Committee on 20 and 21 March 2001.

Released on 14/03/2001

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

 
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