New European legislation seeking to better prevent and control animal diseases are set to enter into force in the new year.
This has been determined by the Council of Agriculture Ministers in Brussels, after formally approving the new EU Regulation on Transmissible Animal Diseases.
"The animal health sector is particularly pleased to have one regulation dealing solely with transmissible animal diseases, that reflects our current knowledge of animal diseases, and addresses urgent and societal concerns, such as antimicrobial resistance and animal welfare", says Roxane Feller, IFAH-Europe's Secretary General.
"For the first time, the regulation will list the specific diseases that are subject to the disease prevention and control measures across the Union, and puts forward particular measures on how to tackle them. This common approach on critical tasks such as early detection, surveillance, animal identification and information-sharing is crucial, as animal diseases don't respect borders", Feller continues.
Emphasis on prevention
The emphasis on prevention is particularly important, as it is essential to maintaining the health and welfare of animals as well as safeguarding food safety, and public health.
The new Regulation on Transmissible Animal Diseases (previously known as the Animal Health Law) aims to put in place a single overarching legal framework of standards for animal and public health in the EU, and is the result of roughly three years of negotiations between policy-makers. It will also clearly outline the responsibilities of animal keepers, veterinarians, traders and national authorities.
Facilitating the eradication of animal diseases
IFAH-Europe, the federation representing the manufacturers of veterinary medicines in Europe, welcomes the EU's first framework legislation on animal diseases, and believes it will go a long way to facilitate the eradication of animal diseases in Europe.
The EU Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Transmissible Animal Diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health ('Animal Health Law') was formally adopted by the EU's Agriculture and Fisheries Council on Monday 14 December. This follows a political agreement on the text, agreed by the EU institutions on 1 June 2015, and confirmed by the General Affairs Council on 14 September 2015.