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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 20 June 2013

Animal Health: Commission refers Sweden to Court for failing to end paratuberculosis testing on bovines

Today, the Commission has decided to take Sweden to the European Court of Justice over the failure to correctly implement Directive 64/432/EEC by continuing the practice of testing bovine animals imported from other Member States for paratuberculosis.

The harmonised animal health conditions for trade in bovine animals laid down in Directive 64/432/EEC do not provide for any health requirements for paratuberculosis. Moreover, mandatory post-arrival testing discourages Swedish farmers from introducing bovine animals from other EU Member States, which have the equivalent effect of quantitative restrictions. Therefore, it cannot be justified under Article 36 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which regulates restrictions and prohibitions on imports.

Paratuberculosis is not amongst those animal diseases for which the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has issued standards on international trade. Similarly in the EU no additional health guarantees are established in relation to this disease. This is also because of the lack of accurate diagnostic tests.

Sweden so far, and notwithstanding the repeated calls by the Commission, has failed to adequately comply with applicable EU law.

Further information

On the June infringement package decisions, see MEMO/13/583

On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12

For more information on infringement procedures:

Contacts :

Frédéric Vincent (+32 2 298 71 66)

Aikaterini Apostola (+32 2 298 76 24)

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