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Food Safety

- Regulatory Committees - Standing Veterinary Committee

Short report of the meeting (2001/07) held in Brussels on 27 February 2001

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:

Foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom

The UK delegation distributed and presented a report on the situation. An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) was confirmed in an abattoir in Essex on 20 February 2001. Laboratory examinations carried out on tissue samples taken from the affected animals, showed that the virus was FMD type, Pan Asia strain. At time of reporting, the total number of confirmed outbreaks stood at 15. On the basis of current epidemiological knowledge, a pig holding in the County of Tyne and Wear was thought to have been the source of the subsequent outbreaks, infection heaving spread to holdings in the County of Essex through the movement of pigs and people and possibly airborne spread, and to holdings in the Counties of Tyne and Wear, Devon and Wiltshire through airborne spread and the movement of livestock.

All the measures foreseen in Council Directive 85/511/EEC had been applied. Protection and surveillance zones with radii of at least 3-km and 10-km had been imposed around each infected holding, the surveillance zones having been extend to take account of the prevailing wind conditions at the time between the introduction of disease and its first detection.

On 21 February, Commission Decision 2001/145/EC came into force and banned the export from the whole of the UK of live animals, germplasm, fresh meat, meat products, milk and milk products, hides and skins of FMD susceptible species. Certain derogations were given subject to the conditions laid down in the above Decision.

It appeared from the discussion that several Member States had imported animals from the UK since 01/02/2001. The Member States concerned explained the measures taken and urged the need for a legal base for the preventive slaughter of susceptible animals imported from the UK as well as the contact animals.

2. 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 raised.

3. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision concerning certain protective measures in relation to foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom and repealing Decision 2001/145/EC (Doc. SANCO/971/2001-rev. 2) (AEF)

The draft Decision aimed to prolong the measures introduced by Decision 2001/145/EC to restrict the dispatch of live susceptible animals and untreated products derived from such animals. The proposal also provides for a prohibition on movement of live susceptible animals from other Member States to the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Member States are allowed to take any precautionary measure, including the isolation and possible preventive killing of live susceptible animals dispatched (especially sheep) from the UK to their territory during the period of 1 to 21 February 2001.

It was made clear that the measures taken were without prejudice to Community financial contribution.

Vote: 77 votes in favour; 10 abstentions.

4. Miscellaneous

1. Portugal reported a suspicion of African swine fever in a zoo.

2. Sweden reported a case of Newcastle disease and a suspected BSE case.

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 


- Regulatory Committees - Standing Veterinary Committee



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