Brussels, 23 August 2007
Foot-and-Mouth Disease in GB: Standing Committee supports Commission Decision to reduce control measures to the surveillance zone around the 2 outbreaks
Following an update on the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) situation by the UK delegation, the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health today supported unanimously the Commission's draft decision to limit the restrictions on exports of live animals and meat and dairy products, in force until now across Great Britain, to the 10 km surveillance zone in Surrey. This means that exports of live animals, meat and dairy products will be able to resume from the territory of Great Britain, apart from the 10 km zone in the county of Surrey, when the Decision enters into force on 25 August. More than 2 weeks have elapsed since the second and last reported outbreak of FMD in county Surrey, and Member States today expressed their support for the measures taken by the UK, and reinforced by the Commission, to control the recent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease.
The UK authorities reported to the Standing Committee on the disease situation and the measures taken to contain and control the virus. Since 3 August 2007, two foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks have been confirmed on 3 and 7 August, both within the protection zone set up after the first outbreak in Surrey. Animals from the infected farms have been culled and these holdings have been cleaned and disinfected. In line with the measures set out in the EU foot-and-mouth disease Directive (2003/85/EC) and additional measures taken by the Commission, protection and surveillance zones have been set up, in which movement restrictions and upgraded bio-security measures are being applied, and restrictions have been applied for dispatch of animals and products from GB.
In the light of the in-depth epidemiological investigations, follow-up of possible contacts and the favourable results of clinical and laboratory investigations on holdings in the risk area and elsewhere in Great Britain, it has been decided to limit the restrictions on trade in live animals and meat and dairy products with other Member States implemented in accordance with Community legislation to the protection zones (3km zone) and surrounding consolidated surveillance zone (10Km) established around the two outbreaks in Surrey. This reduction in the control measures at this stage has been possible because of the favourable evolution in the disease situation and the strict and immediate movement ban implemented in the whole of Great Britain and the implementation of further specific protection measures as laid down in Commission Decision 2007/554/EC
In accordance with the new decision approved by the Standing Committee today and to be adopted by the Commission tomorrow, trade in live animals and their products from most of the UK will be possible, subject to strict controls and veterinary supervision, from 25 August.
The restrictions are applicable until 15 September 2007 and will be reviewed at a further meeting of the Standing Committee foreseen on 11 September 2007.