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Brussels, 03 October 2007

Foot-and-Mouth Disease: Decision on Great Britain could be adapted as of 12 October subject to strict conditions

A Commission proposal to amend the Foot-and-Mouth Disease restrictions for certain parts of Great Britain from 12 October has been backed by Member State experts in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health. The proposal will be finally adopted only if there are no further outbreaks outside a 200 km area around the surveillance zone in Surrey and under strict conditions.

Under the draft Decision agreed today, the whole of Great Britain would remain a high-risk area with regard to the movement restrictions for susceptible animals and untreated products. The export of fresh beef and sheep meat would be allowed to resume from the parts of Great Britain which fall outside a 200km delineated area around the surveillance zone in South-East England, subject to strict animal health conditions. For 30 days prior to slaughter, the animals used to produce this meat would have to be kept on the same holding, and for 21 days prior to these animals being moved, no new susceptible livestock could be introduced to the holding. At the slaughterhouse, the animals would have to be killed immediately, and ante- and post-mortem inspections for possible signs of FMD would have to be carried out. The meat would then have to be quarantined for 24 hours and could only be dispatched if there was no suspicion of disease in the holding of origin. This provision allowing certain parts of Great Britain to export fresh meat will be automatically suspended if an FMD outbreak occurs anywhere beyond the 200km zone in the South-East.. The Standing Committee also agreed today to prolong all FMD protection measures in place in the UK until 15th November 2007.

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