Brussels, 16 October 2001
Commission approves EURO 155 million to fight animal diseases
The European Commission has approved a financial package to fight transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) and other animal diseases in the EU in 2002. The European Union (EU) budget will contribute € 114 million for financing BSE and scrapie monitoring. The amount will be used for the purchase of test kits. The Commission also adopted funding provisions for the 2002 programmes eradicating animal diseases and preventing zoonoses. The EU will contribute € 40.45 million from its resources in the veterinary field for the eradication and monitoring of 13 major animal diseases in the Member States. The diseases targeted by the programmes have implications for both human and animal health or cause serious losses in livestock farming and therefore constitute barriers to intra-EU or international trade.
Commenting on the decisions, Mr David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection stated: "Testing programmes are a successful and important instrument to identify the scale of BSE and scrapie in the European Union. The introduction of the compulsory BSE test has proven how important they are to detect BSE in cattle to keep infected animals out of the food and feed chain in addition to safety legislation." On the animal disease eradication programmes he added: "The continuing support of the European Union for disease eradication programmes is a reflection of our commitment to continue the EU's efforts to improve the health status of the EU's livestock which is important from the point of view of protecting animal health and which will in turn be to the advantage of human health."
TSE monitoring programmes
Since 1 January 2001 all cattle for human consumption older than 30 months and a random sample of dead-on-farm cattle have to be tested for BSE. From 1 July 2001 onwards the obligatory test has been extended to all dead-on-farm cattle and emergency slaughtered cattle over 24 months. In Member States with a lower BSE risk (Austria, Finland and Sweden) or which exclude all over 30 months old animals from the food chain (UK) healthy slaughtered animals over 30 months will be subject to random sampling. In total, in the year 2002, between seven and eight million animals will be tested for BSE
Furthermore, as of 1 January 2002 random post mortem testing of sheep and goats over 18 months from healthy animals at slaughter and from fallen stock will be introduced.
Member States submitted the Commission their programmes for 2002 for these different tests. The programmes have been evaluated by the Commission taking into account the epidemiological situation and the total population of bovine, ovine and caprine animals.
The Commission now adopted the maximum amount of EU financial contribution in the programmes of the Member States. In total, € 114 million will be made available from the EU budget. The distribution by Member State can be found in Annex 1.
Animal disease eradication programmes
The Commission shall adopt each year a list of programmes for the eradication and monitoring of animal diseases and for the control of zoonoses qualifying for a financial contribution from the EU as well as the proposed rate and amount of the contribution for each programme. The Commission now adopted a total of 50 programmes for 2002 for the eradication of 13 major animal diseases in the Member States. The total EU contribution to this programmes is € 40.45 million.
Scrapie, brucellosis, tuberculosis, rabies and salmonellosis will be the main diseases targeted by the EU in its disease eradication programme for the year 2002.
€ 10.25 million will be spent on the eradication of brucellosis in sheep and goats in the southern Member States where the disease occurs. This disease causes Malta fever in humans, which has plagued the Mediterranean region since Biblical times. Bovine brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis are also known to be transmitted to humans so that significant sums will be used to combat the remaining cases of these diseases (€ 11.9 million and 7.4 million respectively) and also for enzootic bovine leucosis (€ 1.25 million). These classical infections have generally been reduced to very low levels throughout the EU. Funding will be concentrated on a regional basis in those areas which have higher infection rates.
Funding will also be used to eradicate the most serious viral diseases of pigs such as classical and African swine fever and swine vesicular disease. Eradication of Aujeszky's disease will also be supported.
Due to the incursion of bluetongue in the EU, for the first time bluetongue programmes have been included for funding. Almost € 1 million will be made available to combat this disease.
In addition to the programmes for the eradication and monitoring of animal diseases, programmes of checks aimed at the prevention of zoonoses are included in the list. A financial contribution of € 2 million to control salmonella in poultry in 5 Member States is adopted. Salmonella can cause serious infections in humans.
The complete list of diseases, Member States and EU financial contribution adopted by the Commission can be found in Annex 2.
List of programmes for the monitoring of TSE
- Maximum amount of the EU financial contribution
List of programmes for the eradication and monitoring of animal diseases and prevention of zoonoses
- Proposed amount of the EU financial contribution