German vaccination plan delayed

Plans to vaccinate cows against foot and mouth disease in Germany’s largest state have been put on hold

The Commission’s Standing Veterinary Committee had been due to decide on 19 April whether to allow the North Rhine-Westphalia vaccination plan to go ahead. However, according to the Financial Times, the Commission returned the request to the German agriculture ministry in order to gain a clearer picture of the level of support for such a measure in other Lander. This move was prompted by the fact that if the vaccination scheme were to go ahead, it would probably lead to a widespread ban on meat exports from the whole of Germany.

 

Plans to vaccinate more than one million animals against foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Germany's largest Lander, North Rhine-Westphalia, have been put on hold. The German federal ministry of agriculture had indicated it would not support the vaccination plan along North Rhine-Westphalia's common border with Netherlands.

 

The most recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Europe began in southeast England on 19 February 2001. Since then, the disease has spread across the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, neighbouring Ireland, France and the Netherlands.

The original outbreak of FMD in the Netherlands has been traced to animals shipped from Ireland via the French department of Mayenne, the site of the first foot-and-mouth outbreak on the continent.

 

Currently, the strict measures introduced in Ireland, France and the Netherlands appear to have brought the FMD outbreaks there under control. The disease continues to rage in the UK as the government attempts to convince farmers that a vaccination scheme would help to control the outbreak. The EU has approved limited vaccination schemes in the UK and the Netherlands. It is unlikely to approve such a large scale vaccination scheme as that envisaged in North Rhine-Westphalia unless an outbreak occurs in Germany.

 

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