Planned EU animal disease measures become law

New EU measures to prevent and halt outbreaks of animal diseases, initially agreed by the Council of Farm Ministers in June last year, have now been formally endorsed by the European Parliament (EP).

The new rules put more emphasis on prevention than was previously the case while also clarifying the disease-related responsibilities of farmers, traders, animal professionals, veterinarians and pet owners.

“This makes three things possible,” said Swedish MEP, Jasenko Selimovic (pictured above), who drove the measure through the EP process.

“First, it links animal health and welfare and connects it to human health. This direct link, together with emphasis on responsible use of antibiotics, will help us fight growing antimicrobial resistance.

“Second, it enables the authorities and producers to focus more closely on the prevention and control of transmissible animal diseases.

“Third, it merges around 40 legal acts into one basic act.”

Following the EP’s approval for the new rules, all farmers, animal owners and traders will now be “obliged” to apply the principles of good animal husbandry and prudent use of veterinary medicines. Vets will also have to “raise awareness” of the interaction between animal health and welfare and human health and of antimicrobial resistance.

The European Commission, for its part, has pledged to monitor the actual use of animal antibiotics in member states and regularly publish comparable data.

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