To organisations on the attached list
CONSULTATION ON PROPOSED EU DIRECTIVE ON COMMUNITY MEASURES FOR THE CONTROL OF FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE
1. On 18 December 2002, the European Commission published a proposal for a revised EU Directive for the control of foot and mouth disease. You can access this proposal through the link on the Defra foot and mouth disease website or at http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/com/pdf/2002/com2002_0736en01.pdf
2. The proposal consolidates and updates the existing measures to control foot-and-mouth disease (Council Directive 85/511/EEC), taking into account the most recent scientific developments in the field and experience gained in eradicating the disease, including the outbreaks in the UK and elsewhere in the EU in 2001.
3. The Government has set out its views on future control strategies for foot and mouth disease through publication of its response to the Reports of the Foot and Mouth Disease Inquiries (the Lessons Learned Inquiry and the Royal Society Inquiry into Infectious Diseases in Livestock). The Government has also published its FMD Contingency Plan for consultation.
4. A brief description of the draft Directive is enclosed with this letter. We would be interested in your views on any of the provisions. We are particularly interested in your views on the required treatments of meat and milk products produced in the protection and surveillance zones and from vaccinated animals. The proposed treatments include heat treatment, or deboning and maturing of meat and meat products and pasteurisation of milk from vaccinated animals. We are aware that, when emergency vaccination was considered in the UK during the 2001 outbreak, a number of concerns were raised about post-vaccination treatments and we would like to hear from you about this.
5. We will be producing a Regulatory Impact Assessment which will evaluate the costs and benefits emanating from the measures proposed in the Directive. We are keen to receive information which will help to complete the Regulatory Impact Assessment. In particular, we need details about the impact of undertaking the treatments of meat and milk and meat and milk products as detailed in para 4 above.
6. Please send your comments to Jean Kennedy at Area 611, 1a Page Street, London SW1P 4PQ. Her telephone number is 020 7904 6451, or you can fax her on 020 7904 8123. Her e-mail address is email@example.com. Please ensure your views reach her by Friday 2 May 2003.
7. As with other consultations, we intend to make copies of the comments received publicly available at the end of the consultation period. It is assumed, therefore, that your reply can be made publicly available unless you indicate clearly in your response that you wish part or all of it to be excluded from this arrangement. If you have no objection to your reply being made available for public examination, please send an additional copy. At the end of the consultation, copies of comments will be placed in Defra’s Nobel House library. Copies will be made available on request to personal callers or telephone enquirers (Telephone: 08459 335577 – local call rates apply). To avoid delays, personal callers should give the Library at least 24 hours notice of their requirements. There will be an administration charge to cover the cost of photocopying and postage.
8. A list of those being consulted is attached for your information. If you are aware of any other organisation or individuals who would like to participate in this consultation please let Jean Kennedy know so that a copy of these papers can be sent to them. This consultation letter will be published on the Defra Internet site at www.defra.gov.uk This consultation covers England and Wales only. Devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland are consulting seperately on this proposal.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Head, Animal Movements and Exotic Disease Division
Those to be consulted
Animal Health Distributors Association
ARC Addington Fund
Association of British Abattoir Operators
Association of Cheese Processors
Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS)
Assured British Meat (ABM)
Biodynamic Association of Great Britain
Border Beef Co-operative
British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions
British Cattle Veterinary Association
British Chamber of Commerce
British Bankers Association
British Camelids Society
British Deer Farmers Association
British Food Export Council
British Goat Society
British Horse Society
British Hospitality Association
British Meat Federation
British Meat Manufacturers Association
British Pig Association
British Retail Consortium
British Starch Industry Association
British Veterinary Association
Cadbury Schweppes plc
Central Association of Agricultural Valuers
Chilled Food Association
Co-operative Women’s Guild
Council for the Protection of Rural England
Country Land & Business Association
Dairy Industry Association Limited
European Research into Consumer Affairs
Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb
Farmers Union of Wales
Farm Retail Association
Federation of Milk Groups
Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland
Food & Drink Federation
Guild of Quality Butchers
Guild of Welsh Lamb & Beef Producers
Halal Food Authority
Institute of Grocery Distribution
International Meat Trade Association
J Sainsbury plc
Jersey Cattle Society
Licensed Animal Slaughterers and Salvage Association (LASSA)
Livestock Auctioneers Association
Maltsters Association of Great Britain
Marks & Spencer
Mars Confectionery Limited
Meat and Livestock Commission
National Association of British & Irish Millers (nabim)
National Association of Catering Butchers
National Association of Women’s Clubs
National Beef Association
National Consumer Council
National Consumer Federation
National Council of Shechita Boards
National Council of Women of Great Britain
National Farm Attractions Network
National Farmers Union
National Federation of Meat and Food Trades
National Federation of Women’s Institutes
National Foot and Mouth Group
National Housewives Association
National Pig Association
National Renderers Association
National Sheep Association
Pet Food Manufacturers Association
Pig Veterinary Society
Provision Trade Federation
Rare Breeds Survival Trust
Road Haulage Association
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
Sheep Veterinary Society
Small Abattoirs Federation
Southern Counties Fresh Foods Ltd
Tenant Farmers Association
The Deer Initiative
The Food Commission
The Restaurant Association
The Sheep Trust
UK Renderers Association
Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers
Welsh Livestock Auctioneers Association
LACORS (Northampton TS)
Local Government Association
National Association of Local Councils
Welsh Local Government Association
Regional Rural Affairs Forum Co-Ordinators
East Midlands Rural Affairs Forum
East of England Rural Affairs Forum
North East Rural Affairs Forum
North West Rural Affairs Forum
South East Rural Affairs Forum
South West Rural Affairs Forum
West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum
Yorkshire and the Humber Rural Affairs Forum
Brecon Beacons and the Welsh Association of National Parks
Countryside Council for Rural Wales
Forestry Commission (England)
English Tourism Council
Pembrokeshire National Park
Snowdonia National Park
Wales Tourism Association
Wales Tourist Board
SUMMARY OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION'S PROPOSAL FOR A COUNCIL DIRECTIVE ON COMMUNITY MEASURES FOR THE CONTROL OF FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE (FMD)
1. The Commission's proposal for a Council Directive on measures to control foot-and-mouth disease (2002/736) updates the previous EU FMD Directive (85/511), taking into account scientific developments and the experience gained in eradicating the disease in 2001.
2. The proposal is intended to allow the EU to maintain its internationally recognised status of “free from foot-and-mouth disease without vaccination”. The current approach of eradicating FMD by stamping out would be retained but the proposal gives greater prominence to the role of emergency vaccination as a control option for use alongside stamping out in some circumstances.
3. The proposed new EU Directive sets out the minimum control measures Member States must take against foot-and-mouth disease, and Article 1 makes clear that they can take more stringent measures. The proposal provides that as soon as the presence of foot-and-mouth disease is suspected, rapid action must be taken so that immediate and effective control measures can be implemented once its presence is confirmed. The initial case of FMD has to be confirmed by laboratory tests, procedures for which are detailed in Annex III. Section 2 of the proposal deals with measures to be taken in case of suspicion of an outbreak of FMD, including movement controls. Article 8 of the proposal provides that animals suspected of being infected with FMD may be subject to preventive culling.
4. Section 3 of the proposal deals with measures to be taken in the case of confirmation of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, including the culling of infected herds or flocks, the disposal of carcases and subsequent cleansing and disinfection requirements. Article 13 deals with the requirements for epidemiological inquiries to determine the extent of the disease and its likely spread. Article 14 provides for the culling of “dangerous contacts” and also requires that, immediately on confirmation of the first case of FMD, all necessary arrangements are made for emergency vaccination in an area at least the size of the Surveillance Zone, should it be deemed necessary. The factors to be considered in introducing an emergency vaccination programme are dealt with in Section 8 of the proposal.
5. Section 4 of the proposal details measures to be applied in special cases, particularly in the case of zoos, wildlife parks and rare breeds and makes provision for the possible emergency vaccination of such special cases. We would welcome views on how you think these special cases should be defined.
6. Where a holding consists of two or more separate production units, Section 5 allows a derogation against culling to be granted providing the animals can be proved to be healthy. This Section also defines the requirements for surveillance of contact holdings.
7. Section 6 deals with the establishment of a protection zone based on a minimum radius of 3km and a surveillance zone based on a minimum radius of 10km centred on an outbreak of FMD. The requirements for the treatment of meat and milk produced in the protection and surveillance zones are detailed in the Annexes. The treatments include heat treatment, deboning and maturing of meat and meat products and pasteurisation of milk. We would particularly welcome views on the proposed requirements. This Section also covers restrictions concerning gatherings and movements, transport and measures in relation to animal products and feedstuffs.
8. Section 7 of the proposal deals with regionalisation, movement control and identification, on the basis that regionalisation would allow the implementation of strict disease control measures in certain parts of the Community without endangering general Community interests. Your views on the feasibilty of tracing products after the establishment of the restricted zone would be helpful. Article 47 allows FMD susceptible animals to be moved from their holding only if they are identified in such a way that their movements can be rapidly traced.
9. Section 8 of the proposal deals with the issue of emergency vaccination. A decision to introduce emergency vaccination may be made when outbreaks threaten to become widespread, or when other Member States are at risk. Such a decision would normally be made by Standing Committee procedure, either at the request of the Member State directly affected, a Member State at risk, or the Commission itself could also initiate discussion on the use of emergency vaccination. There is also provision for a Member State to introduce emergency vaccination itself and have its decision reviewed and ratified later by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.
10. Criteria for the decision to apply protective vaccination and guidelines for emergency vaccination programmes are set out in Annex X to the proposal. Criteria to be considered include: inability to carry out culling within the 24/48 hour targets; if the density of livestock population is high in the area concerned; if pigs are involved; if airborne spread is predicted; where the origin of the outbreak is unknown; if the incidence is rising steeply; and if “regionalisation” after vaccination is acceptable. Your views are sought on whether you think the list of criteria is comprehensive or whether any additional factors should be taken into account.
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.
12. Detailed provisions on the recovery of foot-and-mouth disease and infection free status are dealt with in Section 9 of the draft proposal. Requirements depend on whether or not emergency vaccination has been used and, if so, whether “suppressive” vaccination (to kill) or “protective” vaccination (to live). These requirements reflect the code from the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) which was revised in 2002 and so differs from the rules applicable during the 2001 outbreak. Disease-free status can be recovered three months after the last case where vaccination is not used or after the slaughter of all vaccinated animals if stamping out and “suppressive” vaccination to kill is utilised. Where a policy of stamping out and “protective” emergency vaccination to live is used, disease free status can be recovered after six months following completion of serological surveillance which demonstrates the absence of infection in the remaining vaccinated population.
13. Section 10 covers the requirements for laboratories handling FMD virus and those authorised to do so are listed in Annex XI, and Annex XII details the strict biosecurity standards to which they must operate. Section 11 refers to Annexes XIII and XIV, which detail the standards and tests for the diagnosis of FMD and other vesicular diseases.
14. Section 12 and Annex XVII of the draft proposal set out the requirement for detailed contingency plans which have to cover a “worst case scenario” and must give precise indications of how emergency vaccination would be handled, notably in regions containing the most livestock-dense areas. Environmental concerns about carcase disposal are given prominence.
15. Article 73 of the proposal would require that contingency plans are reviewed regularly in the light of “real time alert” exercises in the Member States. The results of these exercises have to be submitted to the Commission. Contingency plans would have to be updated at least every five years and initially Member States will have to submit their updated contingency plans to the Commission within six months of the Directive coming into force.
16. The requirement to set up national and local disease control centres, together with their functions, duties and technical requirements are covered in Section 13, as is the requirement for Member States to create a permanently operational expert group to maintain expertise in ensuring preparedness against an outbreak of FMD.
17. Antigen and vaccine banks are dealt with in Section 14. It authorises Member States to maintain reserves of antigens or ready-to-use vaccines. To guard against emergencies, the Community has established reserves of inactivated FMD virus antigen stored at designated antigen banks and details of access to these are covered in Article 83. Arrangements with regard to the rapid formulation, production, bottling, labelling and distribution of vaccines are set out in Article 82 and requirements for independent potency testing of vaccines are covered in Article 84.
18. Section 15 prohibits the feeding of catering waste to FMD susceptible animals across the EU. This provision applies until separate EU legislation comes into force in April 2003. Such a ban is already in place in the UK.
Animal Movements and Exotic Disease Division