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European Commission - Press release
Fight against diseases and zoonoses : EU earmarks €214 million to better protect human and animal health
Brussels, 10 November 2011 – The EU earmarked yesterday more than €203 million to support programmes to eradicate, control and monitor animal diseases and zoonoses, aiming to further strengthen the protection of human and animal health in 2012. The decision was taken at the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH), where Member States also unanimously endorsed the Commission proposals to contribute €11.5 million for the emergency measures and vaccination plans taken to combat some animal diseases over the past four years.
John Dalli, EU Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner, welcomed the support of the Member States. "It is rewarding to witness the tangible benefits of the EU's efforts, which have resulted in a significantly improved situation on TSE, Salmonella, Rabies, Bluetongue, Classical Swine fever, Avian Influenza, tuberculosis and brucellosis," he said. "Being aware of the current budgetary constraints, the Commission has done its utmost to keep assisting particularly in areas where difficulties persist and to ensure the maintenance of the vigilance in order to better protect consumers.," he added.
The success of the eradication programmes can be tangibly measured by a decrease in the disease prevalence, which leads to less money spent for co-financing (€45 million less in 2012 compared to 2011).
Overall,138 annual or multi-annual programmes have been selected for EU funding to tackle animal diseases that impact human and animal health and trade.
The financing of bovine tuberculosis programmes in five Member States with about €65 million will take the lion's share of the earmarked funds.
Concerning Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs), there is an overall positive trend as a result of the strict application of risk management measures, such as the feed ban and the good implementation of the compulsory monitoring and eradication measures. Due to the favourable situation, the monitoring requirements for bovine animals have been further relaxed (30% reduction comparing to previous years). The Commission has, therefore, made more than €54 million available from the EU budget to continue assisting Member States in 2012.
On rabies (a fatal disease transmitted by animals to humans) the situation in the Union continues to improve. The increased level of co-financing (75%) will be maintained in 2012 to further assist the Member States in their final efforts to ensure public health protection by eradicating rabies. To fight against the risk of introduction of rabies from neighbouring countries, the EU will continue in 2012 to fund vaccination in areas of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.
The eradication of Bluetongue is progressing very well. Member States have shifted from compulsory state funded vaccination to a voluntary scheme resulting in a further drop in the need of funds for Bluetongue programmes (€97 million in 2010, €16.2 million in 2011 and €7 million to be allocated in 2012).
On Classical Swine Fever, a disease with devastating social and economic losses for the pig sector, the situation is quite favourable and €3.7 million has been allocated in 2012.
Salmonellosis is the second most frequently reported zoonotic disease in humans, but with a steadily decreasing trend of several thousand cases annually in the notification rate of salmonellosis cases in humans over the past five years. About €16 million are being made available from the EU budget in 2012.
Member States will also continue to carry out surveillance for avian influenza in poultry and wild birds in 2012 with the financial assistance of € 2.3 million from the EU budget. The implementation of the surveillance programmes is the most effective way to detect early outbreaks and is extremely useful in preventing the spread of this disease, which can have serious economic repercussions on poultry farming.
The approved €11.5 million in support of emergency measures will be distributed as follows:
Foot and Mouth disease in Bulgaria
Outbreaks of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) occurred in Bulgaria in 2011. FMD is a highly contagious viral disease in wild and domestic cloven-hoofed animals (e.g. pigs, wild boars) with a severe impact on farmers and trade.
The Union has granted a financial contribution of €890 000 to support Bulgaria for certain measures like surveillance, database, information campaigns, laboratories and disinfection aiming to control the spreading of FMD in wild animals in the South-East of Bulgaria in 2011-2012.
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