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The Standing Veterinary Committee meeting on June 5 moved to ease restrictions on the United Kingdom for the first time since the beginning of the foot-and-mouth crisis. The Committee voted to lift all measures applying to Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. These restrictions include the dispatch of live susceptible animals, fresh meat and fresh milk (unless these are heat-treated). The restrictions on the rest of the United Kingdom have been extended until July 20.In the case of the Netherlands, the SVC approved the lifting of restrictions on the trade in cattle and pigs from the Northern Netherlands (Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe, Flevoland) for breeding and rearing purposes. Also, the transport of live cattle and pigs from farms situated outside the surveillance zones around Oene and Kootwijkerbroek in Overijssel province, north of the river Rijn-Waal-Merwede in Gelderland province and east of highway A-27 in Utrecht province directly to a slaughterhouse in another Member State will be authorised. Export of all susceptible species from the surveillance zones around Oene and Kootwijkerbroek and of sheep and goats from the whole country remain prohibited until at least June 25, 2001.The European Parliament's Environment and Consumer Protection Committee also voted on May 28 to adopt a report by Encarnacio Redondo-Jimenez (EPP-ED, E) on another similar disease similar to FMD - classical swine fever. In 1997 and 1998, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, which had been considered free of CSF for many years, suffered severe outbreaks of the disease. The resulting crises resulted in severe economic losses to the pig sector and to the EU budget. Ms Redondo Jimenez's report demands a ban on the feeding of swill to pigs and better systems for tracing and checking on animals in transit. She is calling on Member States to update their national emergency plans in the light of the recent outbreak of FMD. The rapporteur approves of the Commission's strategy for eradicating the disease - slaughter and destruction - but believes that there should be a public buying-in scheme set up if outbreaks occur to ease problems caused by long-term restrictions on animal movements. Ms Redondo-Jimenez pointed to the trade in fresh or frozen meat from non-EU countries and the feeding of untreated pig swill as the main sources of CSF infection and added that EU enlargement would likely increase the risk. Her report is due to be voted on by the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on June 14...JJ:(DT)

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Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 9, 2001

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