Brussels, 23 March 2001
commitment not to re-introduce vaccination by Member
All Member States of the European Union confirmed
today in the meeting of the Standing Veterinary
Committee their strong commitment to the current EU
policy to eradicate foot and mouth disease. This
involves two priorities. First, the killing and
destruction of infected and susceptible animals.
Second, strict controls on the movement of animals to
minimise the potential for the virus to spread. There
is no support for general vaccination of animals.
Member States discussed also how the
current general Community provisions which allow for „
suppressive vaccination" might operate. These provisions
provide for vaccination of a limited number of animals in a
restricted area surrounding an outbreak of FMD if the
volume of animals exceeds the available destruction
capacity. This very specific emergency vaccination could be
used to contain the disease around a confirmed outbreak.
Animals awaiting slaughtering and destruction could be
vaccinated to avoid that they further spread the virus.
Since a reduction of infectivity only begins from 6-10 days
after vaccination this policy would only be useful if the
animals concerned could not be culled within this
In this context and on request of the
Dutch delegation, the Standing Veterinary Committee gave a
favorable opinion to a proposal of the European Commission
that the Netherlands may resort, under certain well-defined
, to an emergerncy vaccination against
foot and mouth disease. This "suppressive" vaccination can
only be carried out on animals in identified holdings
situated in a defined area and it can only be carried out
exclusively in conjunction with immediate and quick
destruction of the animals. The Netherlands could resort to
this option if - in the case of further outbreaks - a
shortage of rendering capacities might arise.
However, the Netherlands declared today
in the SVC that they will not use this provision for the 3
outbreaks and 4 suspect cases recorded on 23 March. They
also confirmed that they will kill and destroy all
eventually vaccinated animals without undue delay and in
any case within two months.
Before commencing any such limited
vaccination, the Netherlands shall ensure that Member
States and Commission are officially informed about all
details of the programme.
- Extent of geographical area for
suppressive vaccination: up to 2 km radius around
holding placed under restriction in the
- Duration of vaccination campaign: The
campaign must be completed within 48 hours
- There is a complete standstill of
vaccinated animals and products of vaccinated
- vaccinated animals have to be
specifically marked and identified
Released on 26 March 2001
FOOD SAFETY |
DIRECTORATE GENERAL "HEALTH
& CONSUMER PROTECTION"