Brussels, 16 October 2003
Commission approves EUR 147 million to fight animal diseases in 2004
The European Commission has approved a financial package to fight transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) and other animal diseases in the EU in 2004. The European Union (EU) budget will contribute € 92.64 million for financing BSE and scrapie monitoring and eradication in the Member States and Accession Countries. The Commission also adopted funding provisions for the 2004 programmes to eradicate other animal diseases like brucellosis or rabies and prevent zoonoses. The EU will contribute € 54.29 million from its resources in the veterinary field for these programmes in the Member States and some Accession Countries. 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, 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 - in addition to safety legislation - to detect BSE in cattle and to keep infected animals out of the food and feed chain. Intensive testing in sheep and goats has given a clearer picture of the incidence of TSEs in these animals."
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 crucial in preserving human health."
Programmes for EU-25
Article 32 of the Act of Accession of 2003 lays down that the Accession Countrie are to receive the same treatment as the present Member States as regards expenditure under veterinary funds. However, no financial commitment under the 2004 budget for any programme concerned may be made before the accession of the concerned countries has taken place.
Eradication programmes are presented on a voluntary basis and depending on the epidemiological situation in each country. Certain Accession countries have submitted their plans and have been considered. For the TSE monitoring programmes and some eradication programmes, some Accession Countries receive financial contribution from the EU by other financial instruments (PHARE programme) than the veterinary fund and therefore they have not been included in the financial package.
TSE monitoring and eradication programmes
All cattle for human consumption older than 30 months, all dead-on-farm cattle and emergency slaughtered cattle over 24 months and all suspect animals independent of their age have to be tested for BSE. In Member States with a lower BSE risk (Sweden) healthy slaughtered animals over 30 months will be subject to random sampling. In total, in the year 2004, around 10 million cattle will be tested for BSE - the test being co-financed by the EU.
Furthermore, random post mortem TSE testing of sheep and goats over 18 months in the categories of healthy animals at slaughter and fallen stock is obligatory since 2002. In total about 350,000 tests were done on these animals in the EU last year.
From 1 October 2003 new requirements for scrapie eradication measures are in place that require the culling and genotyping of animals in infected flocks. In addition, from 1 January 2004 breeding programmes for resistance to TSEs in sheep are to be implemented. € 15.67 Million has been allocated towards these new scrapie eradication measures.
The financing has been decided following the submission to the Commission by Member States and some Accession Countries of their monitoring and eradication programmes for 2004. 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 has now adopted the maximum possible EU financial contribution towards the programmes of the Member States and Accession Countries. In total for the monitoring of TSE and for the eradication of scrapie € 92.64 million will be made available from the EU budget. The distribution by Member State and Accession Country can be found in Annex 1.
Animal disease eradication programmes
The Commission is required to 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 has drawn up a list qualifying for financial contribution with a total of 68 programmes for 2004 for the eradication of 10 major animal diseases in the Member States and Accession Countries. The total EU contribution to these programmes is € 51.89 million. € 29 million will be spent on the eradication of brucellosis (€ 14.1 million in sheep and goats brucellosis and € 14.9 million on bovine brucellosis). This disease causes Malta fever in humans and 1778 human cases were notified to the EU reporting system in 2001. Bovine tuberculosis is also known to be transmissible to humans so that significant sums will be used to combat the remaining cases of this disease (€ 14.4 million). € 4.4 million will be spent to fight rabies, a highly fatal viral infection of the nervous system.
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 € 2.4 million to control salmonella in 5 Member States and 2 Accession Countries has been approved.
The complete list of diseases, Member States or Accession Countries 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 -
- Maximum amount of the EU financial contribution -
List of programmes for the eradication and monitoring of animal diseases
- Proposed amount of the EU financial contribution -
- Proposed amount of the EU contribution -
(1)Heartwater, babesiosis and anaplasmosis transmitted by vector insects in the French overseas departments