Brussels, 25 May 2001
Byrne and Fischler welcoming partial lifting of US-restrictions due to FMD
Commissioners David Byrne and Franz Fischler welcomed today in Brussels the announcement of the United States to lift partially its import restrictions on fresh meat and livestock from the European Union. The restrictions were imposed due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and the Netherlands.
David Byrne, responsible for Health and Consumer Protection said: "The decision taken by the US government today acknowledges the huge efforts the EU has made to control the spread of foot and mouth disease. Throughout we have called upon our trading partners to respect the international principle of regionalisation and restrict movements only from countries affected and I appreciate that the US government has followed suit today. Secretary Veneman has assured me that she will keep the restrictions still in place under permanent review."
Franz Fischler, responsible for Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, said: "This is very good news for our farmers who have greatly suffered from the consequences of FMD in Europe but who have also made every effort possible to control the disease. I hope that Europe will regain its export markets quickly and trust that remaining restrictions by third countries will be lifted soon as well."
Ms Veneman informed Mr Byrne and Mr Fischler earlier today of the US decision.