Press release PM 11/07, Sept. 14th, 2007Federal organisation of German veterinarians, Oxfordstr. 10
Foot and Mouth disease
No trade restrictions after emergency vaccination
In the light of the latest outbreak of FMD in the UK the German veterinary association (BTK) is urging the German Government to stage a protest against the trade restrictions following emergency vaccination against FMD.
They are asking that intracommunity as well as global trade in vaccinated animals and their products milk and meat should not be restricted.
" The use of emergency vaccination in outbreak regions without subsequent culling of vaccinated animals can prevent the disease from spreading as well as keeping the numbers of animals to be culled at an absolute minimum" says Dr. Ernst Breitling, President of the German federal veterinary organisation BTK.
Since 1992 no preventive vaccination against FMD has been carried out within the territory of the EU. In case of an outbreak the veterinary authorities can decide, pending permission from the European Commision, to carry out emergency vaccination in regions affected.
Usually this will lead to a prolonged period of trade restrictions for vaccinated animals and their products within the European Union and third countries. The reasons for trade restrictions are the assumptions that vaccinated animals can't be distinguished from infected animals. But meanwhile modern marker vaccines are available that permit on a herd level the distintion between vaccinated and infected animals.
Improvements, i.e. safe tests for individual animals, are neede. But most important, today it is possible to prove the infection of a single animal by virus dectection. The BTK has no sympathy for (is opposing?) the culling of healthy animals for trade reasons.
Losses in trade that are always used as an argument against vaccination are, in our opinion, less important than the implications for animal welfare.
Press release 17th August 2007
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