European Parliament

Prevention crucial to new European animal health plans


Source: European Parliament

Animals in Europe - from wild and farmyard animals to domestic pets - could soon come under the remit of a proposed EU-wide animal health strategy. The aim is to put the onus on prevention rather than cure. Bird flu, BSE and foot and mouth disease have shown the danger that outbreaks of animal disease can pose to animals, the wider economy and to humans themselves. A parliamentary report on proposals by the Commission calls for minimal animal transport and more stress on vaccination.

Precautionary measures such as disease surveillance, controls and research lie at the heart of the Commission's 'Animal Health Strategy 2007-2013'.  Increasing public health and food safety and improving conditions for animals are just some of its aims.
The man who drafted the report for parliament is Polish MEP Janusz Wojciechowski, who calls the proposals 'necessary and worthy of support'. However, he sees a number of areas where more action could be taken.
As well as less animal transport and more use of vaccination Mr Wojciechowski would like to see restrictions on the size of farms. He believes that very large farms with large livestock herds pose more of a danger than small ones. 
Members of the Agriculture Committee have already endorsed the Commission's strategy and the changes proposed in the Wojciechowski report. On Thursday the full house will vote on the report. The Commission's proposals must be adopted under the codecision procedure as they cover human health and food safety. If MEPs support the proposals the Commission is expected to release an action plan and timetable between July and September this year. What is absolutely clear is the determination never to repeat the human and environmental cost of previous disasters.

Customer comments

No comments were found for Prevention crucial to new European animal health plans. Be the first to comment!