Brussels, 3 August 2007
The European Commission services remain in close contact with the UK authorities. The Commission will adopt on Monday an emergency decision confirming the measures being applied in accordance with EC legislation, concerning restrictions on the movement of animals and the dispatch of products from the UK. Further tests are ongoing at the Community Reference Laboratory in Pirbright to determine the exact strain of the virus.
Background from the DG SANCO web site:
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious, usually non-fatal viral disease of domestic and wild cloven-hoofed animals, but may also affect certain other species. It is widely distributed throughout the world. Animals recovered from the disease may remain carriers of the infectious virus for an extended period of time. FMD is not dangerous to humans, but has a great potential for causing severe economic losses in susceptible animals.
Community control measures are laid down in Council
Directive 2003/85/EC of 29 September 2003 repealing the former Directive
85/511/EEC. The new Directive provides for measures to control and eradicate the
disease with the aim to regain the disease and infection free status of the
affected territory. The control measures are based on stamping-out of infected
and in-contact herds, and on regional restrictions on the movement of
susceptible animals and their products. Provisions are made for the use of
emergency vaccination. To this end the Community maintains one of the world's
biggest antigen banks for express formulation of vaccines.
Member States are obliged to have contingency plans in operation and national reference laboratories must collaborate with the Community Reference Laboratory.