Food Law News - EU - 2001

Commission Press Release (IP/01/427), 21 March 2001

FOOT-AND-MOUTH - Foot-and-mouth disease in the Netherlands

The European Commission adopted today after a favourable opinion of the Standing Veterinary Committee (SVC) protective measures following outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. The dispatch of species of live animals which are susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease from anywhere in the Netherlands 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 provinces of Gelderland, Overijsel, Flevoland and Noord-Brabant is prohibited, unless these products are treated appropriately. Vehicles used for the transport of livestock and milk have to be disinfected. This decision will be applicable until 4 April. The situation in the Netherlands including the possible resort to emergency vaccination in the 1 km area around the two outbreaks and two contact holdings pending the killing and destruction of all susceptible animals in this 1 km circle will be discussed at a special meeting of the SVC on 23 March 2001.

Two outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease were confirmed today in the Netherlands on two farms in the province of Gelderland and Overijsel. Protection and surveillance zones had already been set up around these farms and around two in-contact farms in Noord-Brabant and Gelderland. Further controls have been carried out in the farms located in the established zones.

Following the outbreak of the disease in the United Kingdom, on 8 March the Commission 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 both at the place of departure and destination. This measure is intended to ensure that the potential spread of the disease is kept to a minimum in the event of an outbreak of FMD outside the UK.

This existing ban on animal movements was reinforced by the Netherlands today. A total standstill throughout the Netherlands for any livestock, livestock transport vehicles and some products like manure was established. Milk collection can only take place subject to strong cleaning and disinfection conditions and not in the protection and surveillance zones.

The Commission and the Member States have however today decided to adopt supplementary interim Community protective measures. In particular, it will be prohibited:

In addition, vehicles used for the transport of livestock and milk have to bedesinfected and some restrictions on the movement of equidea are put into place. These measures follow the approach already adopted in relation to the single outbreak of FMD in France.

The Commission is actively monitoring the situation with the full co-operation of the veterinary authorities in the Netherlands and in the Member States. The situation will be reviewed at a special meeting of the Standing Veterinary Committee on 23 March 2001. At this same meeting the possible resort to emergency vaccination in the affected areas in the Netherlands will be discussed.

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