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Brussels, 28 February 2008

The UK and Cyprus regain FMD-free status from OIE

The Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has recommended to the International Committee of the OIE to reinstate the FMD-free status of the UK and Cyprus as of 19 and 21 February 2008 respectively. The United Kingdom and Cyprus have eradicated Foot-and Mouth disease (FMD) from their territories after they successfully dealt with the limited number of outbreaks recorded in 2007.

Since the early 1990s, the OIE has been compiling lists of member countries, or parts of their territory, that are officially recognised as being free from Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia, Rinderpest, FMD and BSE. For this purpose, a clearly defined and impartial procedure for declaring a member country free from a disease has been established. FMD is one of the most contagious diseases of cloven-hoofed mammals and has a great potential for causing severe economic losses. All EU Member States are listed as countries free from FMD without practising vaccination.

In 2007, the FMD-free status of the UK and Cyprus was suspended following the notification of outbreaks of FMD in the county of Surrey in Great Britain (August 4, 2007) and in the village of Dromolaxia in Cyprus (November 6, 2007) respectively. Both Member States controlled and eradicated the disease on the basis of Council Directive 2003/85/EC on Community measures for the control of FMD. In addition, the European Commission adopted protection measures that elapsed on 31 December 2007 and 31 January 2008 for the UK and Cyprus respectively. Both Cyprus and the UK submitted for evaluation by the Scientific Commission of the OIE documents demonstrating the absence of infection in their territories and compliance with the recommendations of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

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