TheCattleSite.com - news, features, articles and disease information for the cattle industry

News

Schmallenberg Trade Restrictions Unjustified

13 March 2012

EU - With seven countries having been affected by Schmallenberg virus (SBV), the European Commission and experts have said that any trade restrictions or request for additional certification on live animals or their products due to the occurrence of SBV in the EU are considered as disproportionate and scientifically unjustified.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) report of 6 February, predicted a significant decline in the number of cases detected in small ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs) and a slight increase in the number of malformed calves due to SBV. Developments over the last few weeks confirmed this assessment. Information presented by Member States also confirmed that SBV is behaving like other viruses belonging to the Simbu serogroup of the Bunyaviridae family to which SBV belongs.

In fact, data recently gathered by Member States (in particular Belgium and the Netherlands) indicated that the impact of SBV is limited also in cattle (few calves were lost compared with the number of cows that delivered) despite the preliminary data suggesting that a very high percentage of farms (seroprevalence) that have been infected, probably during summer and autumn 2011 with SBV.

Based on the technical discussions, both Member States and the Commission re-affirmed that there is no reason to deal with this virus with measures different to those applied to similar viruses (e.g. Akabane virus present in Japan or Australia) and therefore no EU veterinary measure is being envisaged.

Trade import restrictions by third countries were also discussed. The Commission and the Member States exchanged information on the state of play of the trade restrictions imposed and requests of information by trade partners from third countries.

The Committee maintained the firm position that any trade restriction or request for additional certification on live animals or their products due to the occurrence of SBV in the EU are considered as disproportionate and scientifically unjustified. The EU remains united and strong on this issue and further steps are being undertaken by the Member States to keep the situation under constant assessment and to fill the knowledge gaps by means of targeted scientific studies that will be co-financed by the EU.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Schmallenberg by clicking here.

TheCattleSite News Desk



Our Sponsors

Partners


Seasonal Picks