NBvH (Dutch Hobby and small-scale holders Association) insists on extra measures against animal transports
Now that BTV 1 is imported into the Netherlands it is clear that extra measures are urgently needed. Measures already taken against importing animal diseases are apparently insufficient. The inspection authorities are always one step behind or cannot get a grip on the complicated networks of trade contacts and transport movements. NBvH therefore urges the Ministry of Agriculture (LNV) and Parliament to step in.
NBvH is very concerned about the role that the trade sector plays in importing animal diseases. These diseases ‘globalise’ more and more. Animal transports go to and from all places in the world, while the system gets less and less transparent. "Now it is bluetongue, before it was tuberculosis, tomorrow it might be foot and mouth again or swine fever," says secretary Christine Bijl in reaction to the news of finding BTV 1 in a cow that came to the Netherlands from France through Belgium. "It is alarming that it has been in the country for a month before the infection was found. Also alarming is the fact that the other animal could not be traced immediately. Apparently not only the transport surveillance fails - how can a cow from the BTV 1 area in France end up in the Netherlands? - but also the so jubilated I&R system for bovines has failed." Bijl points out that the continuous threat of animal diseases has a very negative effect for the whole hobby and small-scale sector. "Hobby holders suffer for the consequences. They participate in vaccination campaigns, pay from their own pockets and in the mean time a new virus type enters the country through commercial trading. The joy of keeping animals will rapidly vanish if this goes on."