Brussels, 16 May 2006
A draft Commission Decision to review certain measures in place due to classical swine fever outbreaks in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, over the past few months (see IP/06/589) was backed by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health today. The Committee agreed that it is safe to market pig meat from pigs of a surveillance zone without a special health mark and treatment, so long as strict conditions are adhered to. These include that no outbreak of classical swine fever in the surveillance zone from which the pigs originate has occurred for at least 21 days prior to slaughter and that regular clinical examinations (with negative results) have been carried out on all holdings in the protection and surveillance zones. The movement of the pigs to a designated slaughterhouse is under strict surveillance by competent authorities.
The Decision agreed today also states that the disease prevention and control measures in the protection and surveillance zones in North Rhine-Westphalia should be maintained for at least 40 days. This prolongation of the measures in the zones is deemed necessary due to the nature of the virus which caused the recent outbreaks and the experience gained in eradicating it over the past 10 weeks. Finally, the Standing Committee agreed to a ban on Member States sending any pigs, including those for direct slaughter, into the three Regierungsbezirke of North Rhine-Westphalia. The situation will be reviewed again at the next meeting of the Standing Committee, to be held in mid-June at the latest.