Sélecteur de langues
Brussels, 18 October 2002
Commission approves EUR 132 million package 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 2003. The European Union (EU) budget will contribute € 94 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 2003 programmes eradicating animal diseases and preventing zoonoses like salmonella. The EU will contribute € 38 million from its resources in the veterinary field for the eradication and monitoring of major animal diseases in the Member States. The diseases targeted by the programmes, either 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, 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. They provide an invaluable complement to the safety legislation. The introduction of the compulsory BSE tests has proven how important they are in detecting BSE in cattle and keeping infected animals out of the food and feed chain." On the animal disease eradication programmes he added: "The continuing support of the European Union for disease eradication programmes reflects upon our commitment to improve the health status of the EU's livestock. This is is important to protect animal health and in turn also an advantage for human health."
TSE monitoring programmes
All cattle slaughtered for human consumption older than 30 months and all dead-on-farm cattle and emergency slaughtered cattle over 24 months have to be tested for BSE. In Sweden, which has a lower BSE risk, healthy slaughtered animals over 30 months are only subject to random sampling. In the United Kingdom, where all over 30 months old animals are excluded from the food chain, all animals over 42 months born after the reinforced feed ban (1 August 1996) have to be tested for BSE and animals born before this date shall be tested at random. In total, in the year 2003, between 9 and 10 million animals will be tested for BSE.
Furthermore, random post mortem testing for scrapie of sheep and goats over 18 months from healthy animals at slaughter and from fallen stock is required. In total about 550,000 animals will be tested for scrapie in 2003.
All Member States, with the exception of the United Kingdom, submitted the Commission their programmes 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 for 2003. In total, € 94 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 adopts every year a list of programmes for the eradication and monitoring of animal diseases and for the control of zoonoses which qualify for a financial contribution from the EU as well as the proposed rate and amount of the EU financial contribution for each programme. The Commission has now adopted a total of 50 programmes for 2003 for the eradication of 13 major animal diseases in the Member States. The total EU contribution (at a rate of 50%) to this programmes is € 37.85 million.
€ 10.45 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. 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 (€ 10.4 million and 7.8 million respectively). € 1.4 million will be spent to fight rabies, a highly fatal viral infection of the nervous system, in six Member States. Funding (€ 1.8 million) will also be used to eradicate the most serious viral diseases of pigs such as classical and African swine fever and swine vesicular disease. The fight against scrapie, the transmissible spongiform encephalopathie (TSE) occuring in sheep and goat, will be funded with € 2.3 million.
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 € 1.16 million to control salmonella 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