DEFRA's own Vaccination Protocolpoints out that:
Fresh meat from ruminants would still be subject to deboning and maturation as in Phase 2 but derogation exists which would permit untreated meat from vaccinated cattle and sheep to be marketed freely on the domestic market (i.e. within the Member State), and therefore approach more normal market conditions for livestock producers. Likewise fresh meat from vaccinated pigs would still have to be treated as in Phase 1 but a derogation allows for untreated meat from vaccinated pigs to be placed on the domestic market and may, if requested by another Member State, be exported to them with a special mark.
- It should be noted that, under the EU FMD Directive, meat and meat products from animals in the Protection Zone and Surveillance Zone and meat and meat products produced in these Zones are also subject to treatment similar to that from vaccinated animals for at least 30 days after these zones have been applied. After 30 days derogation may be granted by SCOFCAH for untreated products to be allowed from the PZ and SZ
- There would be no compensation for loss of value of vaccinated animals as there is no reason why their products could not be sold as normal.
- The Food Standards Agency have confirmed that there is no risk to human health from consuming products from vaccinated animals and products would not have to be labelled as such.
From Defra's consultation letter signed by Roy Hatherway in the Spring of 2003 was asking some of the same questions as are still being asked of the processing and retail stakeholders.
11. Detailed conditions applicable in the vaccination zone are set out in Articles 54, 55 and 58 and post vaccination treatments of meat and meat products and milk and milk products are detailed in Annexes VII, VIII and IX. Some measures will be required until infection free status is recovered and, in some instances, the meat and meat products will have to carry a special mark. The treatments include heat treatment, deboning and maturing of meat and meat products and pasteurisation of milk from vaccinated animals. Views are sought on the practicality of these proposals.
However, as we pointed out in warmwell in the Autumn of 2004
Sept 6 - Sept 12 2004 ~ Defra's Q and A page on vaccination still fails adequately to explain about vaccinated meat for home consumption
There is still a misguided fear among producers that vaccination would mean an end to a viable home market for vaccinated animals. Defra's foot and mouth vaccination page of questions and answers, apparently last modified on June 25, does at least do better than the Vaccination Paper they published on the 18 June in explaining about vaccinated meat - but still falls far short of really spelling out what a difference not having to treat vaccinated meat for the home market has made. The derogation obtained from the EU which will allow vaccinated meat and meat products destined for the UK market to be treated in the same way as un-vaccinated product. Post vaccinated and tested meat is allowed on to the home market.
Untreated meat from vaccinated cattle and sheep can be placed on the domestic market.
Sept 6 - Sept 12 ~ The EU FMD Directive provides for derogation from heat treatments once the Protection or Surveillance Zone has been in place for more than 30 days
Article 58 para 13 of the EU Directive is all-important. A great deal of progress has been made in providing for the use of emergency, protective vaccination and it is unfortunate that the DEFRA Q and A does not make this clearer.
The language of the Directive itself, as with so much legislation that affects ordinary people, seems perversely complicated when understanding it fully is of such vital importance
Nor are import/export arrangements necessarily set in stone. For example, Russia and the EU have reached a new understanding:
FWi ".........EU and Russian negotiators have now agreed that a notifiable disease outbreak such as foot-and-mouth or Classical Swine Fever will no longer automatically block exports from the whole of that country or from the remainder of the EU."
June 18 - 20 2004 ~ DEFRA's real time alert exercise
(which coincides with the date on which the EU FMD Directive actually has to be transposed into UK law) is being reported in such a way as to suggest that the decision whether or not to vaccinate will depend, among other things, on "the weather" - together with the worryingly misleading sentence "after vaccination, meat has to be heat-treated or deboned and matured until after the country's F&M-free status is established." The criteria for vaccination are laid out in Annex X of the Directive. As for the heat treatments of meat and milk, the Directive provides for derogation from these treatments once the Protection or Surveillance Zone has been in place for more than 30 days.