UK granted FMD-free status

by Editor
Friday, February 29, 2008

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Scientific Commission has declared the UK free from foot and mouth disease (FMD).

This has been announced by the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

OIE rules allow countries to apply to regain their official FMD-free status provided that there has been a three-month disease-free period since the last confirmed case.

DEFRA said the UK gained European Union disease freedom status and a return to normal trade on December 31, 2007.

DEFRA also announced that it has restored the Specific Animal Pathogens Order (SAPO) license to Merial Animal Health to permit the use of FMD and bluetongue viruses for vaccine production.

Merial’s SAPO license was suspended last November following the 2007 FMD outbreak in southern England.

The UK continues to combat the bluetongue virus and has recently expanded its bluetongue surveillance area to include much of southern England and Wales.