EU Import Controls Toughen Against Bluetongue

UK - The EU Commission has decided to toughen the current rules for importing cattle into Europe due to concern of further Bluetongue outbreaks.
calendar icon 10 April 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

New rules agreed at this weeks Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, SCoFCAH, will result in tighter restrictions on the importation of livestock to the island of Ireland, which is currently a Bluetongue free zone.

"We currently enjoy a Bluetongue disease free status and that’s the way we want to continue."
The Ulster Farmers Union President Kenneth Sharkey.

Member states can now ban until the end of this year, the importation from Bluetongue restricted areas of all cattle and sheep over 90 days old unless they have been vaccinated or unless natural immunity to the disease can be demonstrated.

The Ulster Farmers Union President Kenneth Sharkey remarked; “We currently enjoy a Bluetongue disease free status and that’s the way we want to continue. This weeks decision in Brussels means import controls on livestock can now be tightened. We welcome this and would urge the Minister for Agriculture to introduce tighter restrictions at the earliest opportunity”.

A delegation from the UFU and the Irish Farmers’ Association met the Minister at Stormont this week in advance of the SCoFCAH meeting.

Kenneth Sharkey added; “We believe these new EU rules should be interpreted to achieve the maximum effect. This would include ensuring the importation of animals into Northern Ireland for direct slaughter is prohibited and that any animal which has previously ‘resided’ in an infected Bluetongue region should also be excluded from import”.

Further Reading

       - You can visit our Bluetongue information page by clicking here.

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