April 1, 2016


EU adopts new animal health law 



The EU is adopting a new Animal Health Law, which provides a single, comprehensive animal health framework to combat animal diseases and antimicrobial resistance. 


Effective April 20, the law replaces the series of complicated rules that have accumulated over the years.


Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis said the new law "paves the way for a more efficient system to combat transmissible animal diseases".


"These diseases like foot and mouth disease or bluetongue" he said, "can have a devastating effect on our livestock production. Others, such as avian influenza, or certain newly emerging diseases, also have the potential to affect human health".


Andriukaitis said that compared with the current system, the new Animal Health Law "provides simpler and clearer directions for national authorities so they can focus on the main priorities when combating animal diseases".


The law also clarifies responsibilities for farmers, veterinarians and others dealing with animals, as well as allows greater use of new technologies for animal-health activities including surveillance of pathogens, electronic identification and registration of animals.


The animal health law is part of a package of measures proposed by the European Commission in May 2013 to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain. It is the biggest and the first of those measures to get the approval of the co-legislators.

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