Veterinary experts relax bans for France and Northern Ireland

EU’s Standing Veterinary Committee extends restrictions in the Netherlands and UK, relaxes in France and Northern Ireland

The Standing Veterinary Committee (SVC) relaxed its ban on the export of meat and dairy produce fromFranceas no new cases have been reported since 23 March. A limited ban will remain in place for the department of Seine-et-Marne, where the most recent case was found, and its neighbouring departments of Seine Saint-Denis and Val-D'Oise. However, the ban on the export of all livestock will remain in place until 12 April.

The SVC also lifted a ban on meat and dairy products fromNorthern Ireland. The SVC had decided to treat Northern Ireland separately from the rest of the UK where the number of foot-and-mouth disease cases have risen over 1000. However, if no new outbreaks are report in Northern Ireland before 19 April, the ban will be limited to Great Britain. The existing ban on the UK, applicable until 19 April has been extended for another month.

The existing protective measures in theNetherlandshave been prolonged until 25 April as three new cases of FMD were reported on 4 April, bringing the number of cases to 15. The movement restrictions in the EU have been extended from 12 April to 18 May. The SVC also agreed to stop the importation of FMD susceptible species fromArgentina. Whilst, it re-authorised the export of meat and meat products fromUruguay.

The SVC agreed that allzoos and parkscontaining endangered species should take the necessary precautions against FMD. The measures include: shutting down susceptible animal houses to the public and introducing disinfection controls. In addition, Member States can resort toemergency vaccinationof susceptible species listed on the red list laid down by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. However, vaccinations can only take place when an outbreak of FMD has been confirmed with 25 kilometres of a zoo. (See )

Initial tests on the three suspected outbreaks in theGermanregions of Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia came in negative. Final results should be ready on 6 April.

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