Bluetongue: Measures revised, restriction zon...

Bluetongue: Measures revised, restriction zone extended

Member State veterinary experts meeting in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health support a revision of the control measures for bluetongue.

The disease control measures laid down in a Commission Decision were reviewed in light of the fact that bluetongue virus has been isolated from the recent outbreaks in the southern Netherlands, southeast Belgium and in parts of Germany and it has been identified as serotype 8 (MEX/06/0828).

Under the draft Decision, which will be adopted by the Commission, the restriction zone established in a first step (see MEX/06/0828) will be extended and formally added to the Annex of Decision 2005/393/EC on the control and eradication of Bluetongue. This 150 km restriction zone will cover all of Belgium, most of the Netherlands, areas in the German federal states of North Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Hessen, all of Luxembourg, and parts of France bordering the Benelux countries. In the restriction zone, stringent rules will apply to movement of ruminants and all animals on holdings within this zone have to be identified and checked for bluetongue by national authorities.

Within the 20 km protection zones established immediately around the outbreak areas, the movement ban for all susceptible animals will remain in place. Derogations from this movement ban are only provided for animals being transported in or out of the zone for direct slaughter, for restocking within the 20 km zone or to another holding within the 150 Km restriction zone. Any movement of ruminants out of the 150 Km restriction zone will be subject to strict conditions and veterinary approval.

The bluetongue situation will continue to be monitored closely by the Commission and national authorities, and the measures will be adapted in light of the evolution of the situation.

Source: European Union (EU)

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