Brussels, 5 April 2006
The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health today voted in favour of a Commission proposal to tighten the movement restrictions imposed on German pigs last week due to classical swine fever (IP/06/395). This follows 2 new outbreaks of the disease in North-Rhine Westphalia last weekend, one of which occurred outside the established surveillance zone. The protection, surveillance and buffer zones which have been in place in this area since the beginning of March have been widened, and all pigs on the farms where the latest outbreaks occurred have been killed and destroyed.
Under the Decision agreed today, no pigs can be transported to or from holdings in North-Rhine Westphalia. Within this region, smaller, risk-based zones must be defined to ensure that movements of persons and vehicles to and from pig farms are restricted to those areas. The derogation allowing the transport of pigs for immediate slaughter from North-Rhine-Westphalia, which was laid down in last week’s Decision, has been repealed for a minimum 10 day period. For areas in Germany outside North-Rhine-Westphalia, some additional measures have also been set out. No pigs, other than those intended for immediate slaughter, may be exported from any part of Germany. Only pigs for immediate slaughter may be exported from German holdings outside North-Rhine Westphalia, provided that, for 60 days prior to dispatch, they are resident on a holding to which no other live pigs have been introduced during the same period.
The draft Decision agreed today also lays down stricter measures for other Member States that may not send pigs to slaughter houses within North-Rhine-Westphalia. They must ensure now that vehicles used to transport pigs and vehicles which have entered a pig farm in the rest of Germany are cleaned and disinfected twice and suspended from transport for at least 3 days afterwards. The German authorities will have to step up surveillance measures and carry out information campaigns for pig farmers. The measures endorsed today will remain in place until 15 May 2006, subject to review over the coming weeks.