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Commission approves 193 million to fight animal diseases in 2007

EU - The European Commission has approved a financial package of 193 million to support programmes to eradicate, control and monitor animal diseases in 2007.

Commission approves 193 million to fight animal diseases in 2007 - EU - The European Commission has approved a financial package of 193 million to support programmes to eradicate, control and monitor animal diseases in 2007.

The 155 programmes which were selected for EU funding will tackle animal diseases that impact both human and animal health. The large EU contribution towards these programmes reflects the high level of importance attached to disease eradication measures, for the protection of both animal and public health.

Markos Kyprianou, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, said: "Safeguarding animal health is an essential factor in ensuring food safety, and in avoiding the often devastating consequences that animal epidemics can have. The decision to allocate considerable resources to the fight against animal diseases shows the Commissions unwavering commitment to this goal.

Each year the Commission approves programmes for the eradication and monitoring of animal diseases, for the control of zoonoses such as salmonella and for the monitoring and eradication of TSEs. These approved programmes receive financial contributions from the EU.

Animal disease eradication programmes

For the year 2007, 61 programmes to eradicate 10 important animal diseases were submitted to the Commission, of which 47 have qualified for Community financial support. The total EU contribution to these programmes is 52,997,000.

Within this budget, diseases that might be transmitted to humans are prioritised. Significant sums are being spent on the eradication of brucellosis, tuberculosis and rabies. Following the success of the programmes in recent years which have virtually eradicated rabies in the western part of the EU, most of the activity in 2007 will be focused towards the east and in particular in the new Member States. 11,937,000 has been allocated to this task. Rabies spread by infected wildlife and the programmes aims at producing immunity in the wildlife by orally vaccinating them baits containing vaccine.

Zoonoses control programmes

A financial contribution of 9,117,000 to control zoonotic salmonella in poultry in 18 Member States has been allocated for 2007. Funding has been doubled for these programmes each year since 2005.

Avian influenza surveillance

Member States will also continue to carry out surveillance for avian influenza in poultry and wild birds in 2007 with financial assistance from the EU towards laboratory testing costs.

This surveillance is the most effective way to detect early outbreaks of both high and low pathogenic influenzas and was extremely useful in 2006, allowing early detection of avian influenza in wild birds before commercial flocks became infected.

BSE/TSE monitoring and eradication programmes

For the monitoring of TSEs, the Commission has agreed to make 88,463,000 available from the EU budget. It includes financial support from the Community that will be used to carry out rapid tests for the detection of TSE in cattle, sheep, goats and for the first time, deer and also discriminatory tests to exclude BSE in small ruminants. For BSE eradication programmes across Europe, the EU will give 5,400,000 in co-funding in 2007 down from 8,710,000 in 2006, reflecting the continuing decline in BSE cases.

Compulsory Scrapie eradication measures are in place, requiring the culling and/or genotyping of animals in infected flocks. Breeding programmes have also been established for TSE resistance in sheep. This year, 33,592,000 is being dedicated to the approved scrapie eradication programmes.

The complete list of the selected programmes and the maximum amount of the EU financial contribution adopted by the Commission can be found in the annexes.

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