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Food Safety

Health - Regulatory Committees - Standing Veterinary Committee 

Short report of the meeting (2000/28) held in Brussels on 18 October 2000

President: Mr. Bernard Van Goethem

All the Member States were represented.

1. Exchange of views of the Committee on the evolution of animal diseases in the Community including:

Classical swine fever

United Kingdom

The UK delegation distributed and presented report n° 5 on the classical swine fever situation. The representative confirmed the secondary outbreak (2000/15) which had been recorded in Norfolk on 04/10/2000. At the time of the confirmation, the holding had already been depopulated. The delegate informed the Committee that derogation to the ban of movement of pigs within the surveillance zone was authorised under strict controls.

Foot-and-mouth disease

Greece

There were no new outbreaks to report.

Bluetongue

Greece

There were no new outbreaks to report.

Italy (Sardinia and Sicily)

The Italian delegation distributed and presented a report on the bluetongue situation. In Sardinia, a total of 2626 outbreaks have been reported. The delegate indicated that the disease was spreading along rivers' valleys towards the east of the island. The Italian delegation also reported outbreaks in Sicily, in the Palermo Province and in the Reggio Calabria Province, mainland Italy. The representative also summarised the actions undertaken to control the disease and informed the Committee that vaccination was being considered.

Spain (Baleares)

The Spanish delegation distributed and presented a report on the bluetongue situation in the Baleares. Outbreaks have been recorded on the islands Mallorca (183 affected holdings) and Menorca (105 affected holdings).

The Commission explained that, considering the urgency and seriousness of the matter, it had taken a safeguard clause in order to prevent the further spread of the disease (Decision 2000/624/EC 1 ).

Newcastle disease

Italy

The Italian delegation reported a total of 242 cases and gave an overview of the spatial distribution of the infected areas. The compulsory vaccination plan was being continued until 15/11/2000. The delegate also confirmed that the application of the declaration made at the SVC of 05-06 September 2000 in relation to intra-Community trade of live poultry and hatching eggs was maintained.

Avian influenza

Italy

The Italian delegation provided updated information concerning the epidemiological situation in relation to the low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) situation in the Verona Province. To date, 47 outbreaks have been recorded.

The Commission announced that the emergency vaccination programme presented by Italy at the SVC of 03-04 October 2000 would be evaluated in a meeting on 30 October 2000, where representatives from all Member States will be invited to comment.

West Nile fever

France

The French delegation explained that 49 cases had been confirmed in the south of France and that 33 other cases were under suspicion. The 3000 samples taken in the surveillance areas within the framework of the epidemiological enquiry were being analysed.

2. Information on the animal health situation in South Africa and Zimbabwe (HLB)

In Zimbabwe, the situation seemed to have deteriorated. The maintenance of the fences appeared to be difficult, there is no FMD vaccine in stock and lack of foreign currency to purchase any. There is also a problem with fuel supplies. Before taking any measures, the Commission preferred to wait for further information from the EU delegation. The Commission's representative emphasised the low risk for the Community considering that the EU is only taking in de-boned and matured meat.

The Commission reported that in South Africa, one further outbreak had been confirmed in the previously established protection zone. No further measures were necessary, considering the Decision taken at the last SVC to further regionalise South Africa. A mission was scheduled for 23/10/2000.

3. Information on the West Nile fever situation in the U.S.A. (AEF)

The Commission informed the Member States that the USDA had reported one new equine case of WNF in Pennsylvania (see also point 11).

4. Information from the Commission concerning several decisions in relation to the reimbursement of the eradication programmes 1999 (C.B.)

The Commission distributed the list of the 1999 eradication programmes including the amounts for financial aid requested by the Member States.

5. Discussion on information received from Member States regarding the «risk analysis» papers from Australia and New Zealand presented at the SVC on 03-04 October 2000 (HLB)

The Commission indicated that some Member States had not yet replied to the request for comments in relation to the five risk assessment papers from Australia and New Zealand and requested the delegations concerned to respond. The Commission would then draft a co-ordinated reply on the basis of the comments received from the Member States.

6. Information to Member States concerning the initiative of the Slovenian Republic in respect of the application of Council Directive 91/628/EEC 2 as amended concerning the protection of animals during transport (A.G.)

The Commission distributed a copy of a press release in relation to the implementation in the Republic of Slovenia, of Community rules on the welfare of animals during transport. This was considered an important development.

7. Information from the Member States and exchange of views of the Committee on the progress of eradication and monitoring programmes for rabies, in particular with regard to the evolution of incidence and prevalence of the disease in the different regions of the Member State concerned, including adjacent Third Countries; and with regard to the implementation of the measures foreseen in the programme :

Luxembourg, Finland, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria and Italy presented a report on the progress of the approved eradication and monitoring programme for rabies, giving an overview of the disease evolution and the measures in place.

7a. Information concerning Newcastle disease in Australia (doc. Sanco/2883/2000) (m.p.)

The Commission provided updated information as regards the Newcastle disease situation in Australia and requested the Member States to reflect on the situation and to comment.

8. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision on the evolution of animal diseases in the Community and in Third Countries.

No items were raised.

9. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending Commission Decision 2000/624/EC concerning certain protection measures against bluetongue in the autonomous community of Baleares, Spain (doc. Sanco/3081/2000) (j.f.)

The Commission explained that following outbreaks of bluetongue in the Baleares, it had taken protection measures to prevent the further spread of the disease (Decision 2000/624/EC). In accordance with the provisions of Directive 90/425/EEC 3 , this Decision has to be submitted to the SVC to be confirmed, amended or withdrawn. The Commission deemed that the evolution of the epidemic did not justify the measures to be amended nor withdrawn and therefore proposed to maintain them.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

10. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision on the total amount of community aid for the eardication of classical swine fever in Spain in 1997 (doc. Sanco/****/2000) (a.l.)

The point was withdrawn at the request of the Spanish delegation.

11. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending for the second time Decision 2000/551/EC on certain protection measures with regard to equidae coming from certain parts of the United States of America affected by west nile fever (doc. Sanco/3019/2000) (aef)

Considering the evolution of the epidemiological situation (see point 3), the Commission proposed to apply the protection measures laid down in Decision 2000/551/EC for Pennsylvania.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

11a. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision concerning certain protection measures against bluetongue in certain parts of Italy (doc. Sanco/3099/2000) (j.f.)

Decision 2000/598/EC 4 introduced protection measures against bluetongue following outbreaks of the disease in Sardinia. The Commission proposed to apply the same measures to the newly infected regions in Sicily and Calabria.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

11b. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending Decision 2000/650/EC on marking and use of pigmeat in application of Article 9 of Council Directive 80/217/EEC concerning the United Kingdom (doc. Sanco/3069/2000) (a.l.)

The Commission proposed, in relation to the outbreaks confirmed as at 4 October 2000 and following a further request of the United Kingdom, to amend Decision 2000/650/EC as regards a specific solution concerning marking and use of pigmeat coming from pigs kept on holdings situated in the surveillance zones established in Norfolk and Suffolk and slaughtered, subject to a specific authorisation issued by the competent authority.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

12. Possibly, exchange of views on a draft Commission Decision laying down the rules for technical and scientific measures concerning the control of african swine fever and the financial contribution from the Community to Portugal (doc. Sanco/1935/2000) (a.l.) (see point 16 of SVC 2000/24 of 05-06/09/2000)

Postponed.

13. Miscellaneous - divers

1. The Commission distributed and presented the report of a FAO-EUFMD/EC/OIE/ARRIAH mission to Transcaucassion countries (Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia) (Doc. Sanco/3101/2000)

2. France wanted to know the state of play in relation to the recognition of the surveillance network for tuberculosis.

3. The Netherlands requested to be informed about the 2001 FVO mission programme.

4. The Commission distributed the updated "List of laboratories approved by Member States for the importation of equidae coming from Eastern Europe" (Doc. Sanco/3067/2000)

N.B. The proposals on which the Committee expressed an opinion are subject to a defined procedure in relation to the formal adoption by the Commission.

Mission reports are available on the Internet

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1 2000/624/EC: Commission Decision of 13 October 2000 on certain protective measures against bluetongue in the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands, Spain

2 Council Directive 91/628/EEC of 19 November 1991 on the protection of animals during transport and amending Directives 90/425/EEC and 91/496/EEC

3 Council Directive 90/425/EEC of 26 June 1990 concerning veterinary and zootechnical checks applicable in intra- Community trade in certain live animals and products with a view to the completion of the internal market

4 2000/598/EC: Commission Decision of 3 October 2000 concerning certain protection measures against bluetongue in Sardinia, Italy

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