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Food Safety

- Regulatory Committees - Standing Veterinary Committee

Short report of the meeting (2000/34) held in Brussels on 05-06 December 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 report n° 8 and explained that the last outbreak of CSF was confirmed on 03.11.2000. There had been no further outbreaks since that date. The total adds up to 16 outbreaks.

The Commission indicated that the protection measures run out on 20.12.2000.

Sheep pox

Greece

The Greek delegation reported one outbreak of sheep pox. Serology is taking place.

Bluetongue

Greece

The Greek delegation provided updated information in Western Greece and said that there was no evidence of spreading of the disease. The delegate therefore announced that a request for amendment of Decision 2000/350/EC 1 would be introduced.

Italy

The Italian delegation distributed and presented a report on the epidemiological situation in relation to bluetongue. In Sardinia, 5419 outbreaks have been reported. Sero-surveillance was being carried out on all susceptible animals. In Sicily, 13 outbreaks were confirmed and in Calabria, 357 outbreaks were reported. There was one suspect case in another region.

Within the framework of the tracing back of animals introduced from the regions affected, 8326 cattle have been traced and tested. All the sheep and goats are negative. A total of 14 cattle have been found positive. In each holding where cattle have been found positive all animals have been tested and insect trapping has been carried out. At present there is no evidence of transmission in the holdings where positive animals have been found.

The representative also explained the possible strategies for 2001.

Spain (Baleares)

The Spanish delegation distributed and presented a report on the bluetongue situation in the Baleares. In Mallorca and Menorca respectively, 391 holdings and 114 holdings were affected. Vaccination with type 2 vaccine was being carried out. To date, 3190 and 405 holdings had been vaccinated in Mallorca and Menorca respectively.

France

The French delegation distributed and presented a report on the bluetongue situation in Corsica. In total, 31 outbreaks have been confirmed, of which 21 in the south and 10 in the north. 66 further holdings were under suspicion.

In derogation to the movement ban outside the island, the movement of animals for slaughter towards a slaughterhouse in Sardinia can be authorised under certain conditions.

Newcastle disease :

Italy

To date, 245 outbreaks have been recorded. The Italian delegation provided information about the compulsory vaccination.

The declaration made at the SVC of 21 November 2000 was maintained.

Avian influenza :

Italy

The Italian delegation provided updated information on the LPAI situation. To date, 55 outbreaks have been recorded.

The Commission requested to be informed about data on monitoring in relation to the vaccination programme.

Infectious haematopoietic necrosis

France

The French delegation reported an outbreak of IHN in a trout farm (Orne). These trout were destined to repopulate the natural environment. The farm is located in an approved zone. The outbreak was detected during analyses carried out to maintain the qualification.

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

The Commission informed the Member States about the FMD situation in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

As regards Zimbabwe, the situation had not changed.

FMD (SAT1) has been confirmed in a slaughterhouse in Swaziland, in animals coming from South Africa. No further information was available. An outbreak of FMD (SAT1) was confirmed in S.Africa and the Commission has sent a letter to the both authorities asking for additional information and guarantees.

3. Information on Newcastle disease in Australia (M.P.)

The Commission distributed document Sanco/4051/2000 providing information on the Newcastle disease situation in Australia and on implementation of measures to prevent the dispatch of seropositive poultry, hatching eggs and ratite meat to the EU.

4. "Wasting cattle": information from The Netherlands on the results of the latest investigations

Postponed.

5. Information and exchange of views on a draft document on the trade restrictions adopted in the US in relation to African swine fever in Portugal (doc. Sanco/4063/2000) (a.l.)

The Commission distributed a draft working document containing a request of the European Commission to withdraw the trade restrictions adopted by APHIS/USDA because of an outbreak on 15/11/1999 of African swine fever in Portugal.

The Member States were requested to comment on the document.

6. Information and exchange of views on the APHIS/USDA risk assessment and proposed rule on regionalization of the EU in relation to CSF(A.L.)

Postponed.

7. Exchange of views concerning additional guarantees within the area of animal health (JMW)

Sweden has submitted an application concerning additional guarantees for 24 diseases. Other Member States have also applied. The Commission announced that the applications would be examined and that it would come back on the issue.

8. Information and exchange of views on the scheme for the withdrawal in Scotland of diseased fish from farms where the presence of infectious salmon anemia has been officially confirmed (doc. Sanco/3871/2000-rev.1) (L.B.)

The UK delegation summarised the withdrawal scheme, which was already extensively presented at a previous SVC and clarified certain issues on which remarks had been received from the Member States. The Commission indicated that the scheme had to be further examined because it included parts of (non-approved) contingency plans.

9. Information on surveillance for avian influenza in wild birds and poultry carried out in the Member States (doc. Sanco/3829/2000-rev.1) (M.P.)

The Commission distributed the above document, containing replies of certain Member States to a questionnaire in relation to the surveillance of influenza virus in free living birds during 1999 and 2000.

The Commission requested the Member States which had not replied yet to do so.

10. Information on the newcastle disease situation in Thailand (doc. Sanco/4076/2000) (M.P.)

The Commission distributed the above document for information (see also point 23)

11. Reply to poultry questionnaire - Egypt (doc. Sanco/3878/2000) (M.P.)

The Commission distributed the above document, providing information on animal health regarding poultry in Egypt.

12. Reply to poultry questionnaire - Brazil (doc. Sanco/2494/2000) (M.P.)

The Commission distributed the above document, providing information on animal health regarding poultry in Brazil.

The Commission also distributed additional information on the animal health situation regarding poultry in Peru, supporting a request to be authorised to export live poultry and hatching eggs to the EU. (Doc. SANCO/4174/2000)

12a. Information and exchange of views in relation to the BSE situation in the Community.

The point was withdrawn from the agenda.

13. 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.

The Commission introduced the following proposals:

1. Draft Commission Decision amending for the second time Commission Decision 93/455/EEC approving certain contingency plans for the control of foot-and-mouth disease (Doc. Sanco/4163/2000)

The draft Decision aims to approve the contingency plans for the control of foot-and-mouth disease of respectively Austria, Finland and Sweden.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

2. Draft Commission Decision 1999/465/EC establishing the officially enzootic-bovine-leukosis-free status of bovine herds of certain Member States or regions of Member States (Doc. Sanco/4181/2000)

The Swedish delegation explained the achievements, which led to their application for officially enzootic-bovine-leukosis-free status of bovine herds.

The Commission proposed to add Sweden to the list of Member States in Annex I to Decision 1999/465/EC.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

14. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision for safety and potency testing of foot-and-mouth disease vaccines and bluetongue vaccine (doc. Sanco/1894/2000 - rev.3) (JMW) (see point 28 of SVC 2000/20 of 04-05/07/2000 and point 41 of SVC 000/26 of 03-04/10/2000 and point 18 of SVC 2000/29 of 07-08/11/2000)

The FMD virus antigen strains purchased by Decision 93/590/EC 2 need to be tested for potency with the objective to ensure that the quality of the reserves is adequate. By Decision 98/64/EC 3 it was agreed that the Commission would make arrangements for testing of certain FMD vaccines produced in Turkey for immunisation of susceptible animals kept in Turkish Thrace. By Decision 2000/292/EC 4 the Community has established a bluetongue vaccine emergency stock. The purpose of the draft Decision is to provide for the engagement of the financial resources in 2000 for the testing of these foot-and-mouth disease vaccines and bluetongue vaccines important for the prevention of disease outbreaks in the Member States.

The Commission explained that it had received all the quotations.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

15. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision for restocking the Community's bluetongue vaccine bank (doc. Sanco/3994/2000-rev.1) (J.F.)

The purpose of the proposal is to restock the emergency bluetongue vaccine bank. The Commission explained that, following outbreaks of bluetongue in the Balearic Islands and Corsica, the available doses had been utilised by the Member States concerned. Furthermore, the Commission indicated that, pending a decision on the definitive vaccination strategy for 2001, it was necessary to restock the vaccine bank.

Vote: 77 votes in favour; 10 abstentions.

16. Possibly, exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending Decision 1999/283/EC concerning the animal health conditions and veterinary certification for imports of fresh meat from certain African Countries to take into account some aspects in relation to Zimbabwe (doc.Sanco/1274/2000) (JA)

The point was withdrawn from the agenda (see also point 2).

17. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending Decision 1999/283/EC concerning the animal health conditions and veterinary certification for imports of fresh meat from certain African Countries to take into account some aspects in relation to South Africa (doc.Sanco/..../2000) (JA)

The point was withdrawn from the agenda (see also point 2).

18. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision concerning the animal health conditions and veterinary certification for imports of live animals of bovine and porcine species from certain Third Countries and repealing Commission Decisions 83/494/EEC, 92/460/EEC, 92/463/EEC, 93/491/EEC, 96/650/EC and 98/372/EC (doc. Sanco/233/2000 rev.3) (JA) (see point 31 of SVC 2000/17 of 06-07/06/2000 and point 27 of SVC 2000/20 of 04-05/07/2000 and point 24 of SVC 2000/24 of 05-06/09/2000 and point 40 of SVC 2000/26 of 03-04/10/2000)

Directive 96/93/EC 5 lays down standards for certification, which are necessary for valid certification and to prevent fraud. It is therefore appropriate to ensure that the rules and principles applied by third-country certifying officers provide guarantees which are at least equivalent to those laid down in this Directive.

In order to clarify and simplify the Community legislation the Commission proposed to group together the health conditions required for imports of domestic animals of the bovine and porcine species from third countries and to repeal the decisions in force for those countries.

The draft distributed took account of the comments made by the Member States at the previous meeting.

The Committee reached a unanimous technical agreement and the draft Decision would subsequently be submitted to the W.T.O.

Germany indicated that the technical agreement given does not cover New Zealand.

19. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending for the fourth time Decision 1999/467/CE establishing the officially tuberculosis-free status of bovine herds of certain Member States or regions of Member States (doc. Sanco/4064/2000) (AEF)

The French delegation presented the achievements as regards tuberculosis making that bovine herds in France are officially free from the disease (6 years).

The Commission proposed to add France to the list of Member States declared officially free of bovine tuberculosis in Annex I to Decision 1999/467/EC.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

20. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending Decision 2000/504/EC establishing transitional measures with regard to testing for bovine tuberculosis within the framework of Council Directive 64/432/EEC (doc. Sanco/4069/2000-rev.3) (AEF)

The purpose of the proposal was to amend Decision 2000/504/EC, so as to allow under certain conditions the provisions of Directive 64/432/EEC 6 with regard to testing for bovine tuberculosis to continue to apply. It was proposed that this derogation from the requirements for the testing of individual bovine animals for tuberculosis would be applicable until the surveillance network is approved and in any case for the transitional period ending 1 May 2002 at the latest. In addition to France, Belgium and Spain are added to the Annex.

Vote: 77 votes in favour; 10 abstentions.

21. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending Commission Decision 92/160/EEC with regard to imports of equidae from Brazil (doc. Sanco/4106/2000) (AEF)

Following reports of new cases of glanders in horses in certain regions in Brazil, the Commission proposed to adapt the regionalisation to the disease situation. The draft Decision aimed to delete certain States of Brazil from the list in the Annex to Decision 92/160/EEC.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

21a. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision concerning the B.S.E. situation in the Member States (doc. Sanco/..../2000)

The point was withdrawn from the agenda.

22. Exchange of views on a draft Commission Decision laying down animal health conditions and veterinary certification for the import of specific pathogen free hatching eggs from Third Countries and drawing up a list of Third Countries from which Member States authorise imports of such eggs (doc. Sanco/4006/2000) (M.P.)

The Commission distributed and presented the proposal for study and observation. The purpose of the draft Decision is to draw up an animal health certificate for specified pathogen free (SPF) eggs and to lay down a third country list from which Member States can authorise the importation off such eggs. The Commission explained that SPF-eggs are used as a diagnostic aid in laboratories or for vaccine production and testing. The risk of disease introduction through these eggs is considered to be low and it is therefore not necessary that these eggs comply with all the conditions required for hatching eggs from third countries.

The Commission requested the Member States to comment on the draft Decision.

23. Exchange of views on a draft Commission Decision amending Decision 94/984/EC laying down animal health conditions and veterinary certificates for the importation of fresh poultry meat from Third Countries (doc. Sanco/4053/2000-rev.2) (M.P.)

The Commission distributed and presented the proposal for study and observation. The Commission explained that Decision 94/984/EC lays down two different certificates for the importation of fresh poultry meat, model A and model B, the use of which depends on the Newcastle disease situation in the country concerned.

Following inspections carried out by the Commission services and information received, it appeared that Thailand and Tunisia could comply with the requirements of certificate model A. The Commission proposed to list both countries in the above Decision. The Commission also proposed to lift the regionalisation of Croatia as regards the importation of fresh meat.

Furthermore, the certificates need to be amended so as to take into account the harmonisation of the vaccine criteria by Decision 93/152/EC 7 and the changed Newcastle disease status of Ireland and the region of Northern Ireland (UK).

24. Exchange of views on a draft Commission Decision laying down the sampling plans and diagnostic methods for the detection and confirmation of certain fish diseases and repealing Commission Decision 92/532/EEC (doc. Sanco/1965/2000-rev.4) (l.b.) (see point 29 of SVC 2000/20 of 04-05/07/2000 and point 44 of SVC 2000/26 of 03-04/10/2000 and point 22 of SVC 2000/29 of 07-08/11/2000)

The Commission distributed and presented the new proposal for study and observation. The draft Decision aims, in the light of new practical and scientific developments, to update the sampling plans and diagnostic methods for the detection and confirmation of certain fish diseases.

25. Miscellaneous

1. The Commission introduced the following proposals:

a. Draft Commission Decision amending for the third time Decision 95/125/EC on the status of France as regards infectious hematopoietic necrosis and viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (Doc. Sanco/4204/2000). France had already withdrawn the status of the affected region.

b. Draft Commission Decision amending Council Decision 79/542/EEC and Commission Decision 92/260/EEC, 93/195/EEC, 93/196/EEC and 93/197/EEC with regard to equidae coming from Bosnia-Herzegovina (Doc. Sanco/4182/2000-Rev.1)

c. Draft Commission Decision amending Annex I of Council Decision 91/666/EEC establishing Community reserves of foot-and-mouth disease vaccines (Doc. Sanco/4207/2000)

2. The Commission also distributed a new version of the draft Commission Decision establishing a model for the lists of units approved by Member States for intra-Community trade in live animals, semen and embryos and the rules applying to the transmission of these lists to the Commission (Doc. Sanco/3013/2000-Rev.2). The Commission explained that with regard to the previous version, the scope had been limited to assembly centres, semen collection centres, embryo collection teams and staging points. The Member States agreed to this approach.

3. The Commission provided information as regards the new ADNS system and requested the Member States to update the introduction of outbreaks. The Member States were also requested to send in the maps by electronic format.

4. Luxembourg informed the Committee about its intention to reduce the surveillance zone for domestic pigs, which was established following classical swine fever outbreaks in wild boar in Germany. For the wild boar, the surveillance would be continued for the next 24 months.

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 2000/350/EC: Commission Decision of 2 May 2000 on epidemiological surveillance of bluetongue in Greece and certain measures to prevent the spread of the disease

2 93/590/EC: Commission Decision of 5 November 1993 for the purchase by the Community of foot-and-mouth disease antigens within the framework of the Community action concerning reserves of foot-and-mouth disease vaccines

3 98/64/EC: Commission Decision of 9 December 1997 on a Community financial contribution for improving the foot- and-mouth disease control programme in Turkey

4 2000/292/EC: Commission Decision of 6 April 2000 for purchase by the Community of bluetongue vaccine for emergency stock

5 Council Directive 96/93/EC of 17 December 1996 on the certification of animals and animal products

6 Council Directive 64/432/EEC of 26 June 1964 on animal health problems affecting intra-Community trade in bovine animals and swine

7 93/152/EEC: Commission Decision of 8 February 1993 laying down the criteria for vaccines to be used against Newcastle disease in the context of routine vaccination programmes

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