Sunday

4th Dec 2016

EU to introduce ban after UK foot and mouth outbreak

  • The outbreak occured on a farm in southern England on Saturday (Photo: European Commission)

The European Union is today to introduce emergency measures to ban livestock imports from the United Kingdom following an outbreak of foot and mouth in southern England over the weekend.

"The European Commission will adopt an emergency measure on Monday that exports of all live animals, meat products and dairy products from the affected area will be banned," a commission spokesperson said, according to Reuters news agency.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"All live animals from the rest of Britain, but not meat and dairy products, will also be banned for export," the spokesperson continued.

The outbreak occurred at a farm in Surrey. The UK's department of agriculture said that all the cattle on the farm have been culled and that a three kilometre protection zone and ten kilometre monitoring zone have been set up around the zone.

The case is the first outbreak since the last foot and mouth epidemic in 2001 that had devastating consequences for the British farming industry.

During the 2001 outbreak, the government was accused of reacting too slowly, something that allowed the disease to spread.

The emergency measures undertook at the time saw millions of animals culled and burned. The huge burning pyres blighted the countryside and affected tourism.

The outbreak spread to Ireland, France and the Netherlands.

Upon hearing of the weekend's developments prime minister Gordon Brown and environment minister Hilary Benn cut short their holidays.

London has said it will work to get any EU ban lifted as soon as possible. British newspapers are reporting that a biosecurity failure at a research laboratory may have been the source of the outbreak.

The strain identified at the Surrey farm is similar to that used at the Pirbright laboratory situated eight kilometres away – the site houses the government-funded Institute for Animal Health (IAH) and the private pharmaceutical firm Merial Animal Health Limited.

The Pirbright centre is licensed to use the foot and mouth virus and there are fears the virus may have been introduced to the farm after it was carried on the wind.

EU veterinary experts are to meet on Wednesday to asses the situation further. They are set to discuss how long the ban should be kept in place and whether any exemptions will be allowed.

Under EU rules introduced in 2003 - prompted by the last foot and mouth outbreak - the 3km protection zone should be kept in place for a minimum of 15 days and the surveillance zone (10 km) for at least a month.

Interview

Polish government in bid to defund NGOs

Ruling Law and Justice has promised to overhaul the NGO sector. The move could strain relations with Norway, a major donor to Polish civic life.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Davis brings Brexit back to reality

Brexiteers will be shocked to hear the government is considering slaughtering the sacred cow, offering up contributions to the EU budget in exchange for market access.

News in Brief

  1. Talks on wholesale roaming rules to start
  2. Lead MEP Dieselgate committee: Italy and Slovakia will cooperate
  3. Transparency NGO sues EU commission on Turkey deal
  4. Pro-EU liberal wins UK by-election
  5. Finnish support for Nato drops, Russia-scepticism grows
  6. Cyprus talks to resume in January
  7. Documents from German NSA inquiry released
  8. Transport commissioner 'not aware' of legal action on emissions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. CESIElects Leaders and Sets Safety & Health at Work and Gender Equality Among the Guidelines For Next Term
  2. European Gaming & Betting AssociationContinues to Grow its Membership and Welcomes its Newest Member Association
  3. ACCASupports the Women of Europe Awards, Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  4. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  5. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  6. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  7. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  8. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  9. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Trasport and Mobility in Rome
  10. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)
  12. Access NowTell the EU Council: Protect our Rights to Privacy and Security