EU plan to check animal disease outbreaks

EU - The European Union Commission yesterday unveiled wide-ranging proposals to reduce to "a negligible level" the serious threats which animal diseases, such as bird flu, pose to human health and the rural economy.
calendar icon 20 September 2007
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With its mantra "prevention is better than cure," the strategy paper sets out a raft of suggested short- and long-term measures including a rapid response network, streamlined and harmonised animal health laws and, eventually, an electronic ID system for cattle.

"Animal health has implications for human health, food safety, economic prosperity and ethical values," EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said in a statement.

"Our goal is to reduce the threats that certain diseases pose, and to ensure that any animal health measure taken over the next six years offers maximum benefit for EU citizens," he added.

The EU's executive arm expects the European Parliament and the 27 EU member states to respond to its proposals by the end of the year.

"We hope to decrease the later costs that we may have to incur in tackling the disease outbreaks," said Commission spokesman Philip Tod.

New legislation on the basis of the proposals is not expected until 2009, he added.

The initiative was unveiled as the growing foot and mouth disease problem in England illustrates the threat to livestock and livelihoods of animal disease.

Source: BruneiTimes
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