A Commission proposal to approve Romania's eradication plan and emergency vaccination programme for classical swine fever was endorsed by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health yesterday.
The Bulgarian eradication plan and emergency vaccination programme (for wild boars) had already been approved by the Standing Committee in mid-September. These programmes will be eligible for co-financing once the two countries join the EU, and it has also been agreed that the EU will provide Romania with vaccines to effectively carry out its vaccination programmes. The provision of these vaccines will be funded through the EU Veterinary Fund.
The proposal voted on yesterday is part of a series of Commission Decisions on post-Enlargement transitional measures for Romania and Bulgaria linked to classical swine fever, which have been backed by Member States over the past weeks. The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health has already agreed that the current EU import bans on live pigs and pig meat from Romania and Bulgaria, which are in place due to outbreaks of the contagious swine disease, should be prolonged for a transitional period of 9 months after the two countries join the EU.
It was decided that such measures are necessary in view of the fact that outbreaks of classical swine disease are still occurring in both countries. Bulgaria has reported 7 outbreaks so far in 2006, while in Romania the situation is more serious, with over 500 outbreaks reported this year. Therefore, in order to protect animal health elsewhere in the EU, it was decided that transitional measures should be taken, as provided for in Article 42 of the Accession Treaty.
Romania will not be allowed to trade pigs or pig products to other Member States after Enlargement, except for certain heat-treated products. Pig meat and pig products will have to be marked with a special stamp, to allow full traceability and ensure that they are only consumed within Romania. Similar provisions will also be in place for Bulgaria.
However, due to the lesser disease situation there, the Standing Committee agreed that the measures for Bulgaria will be integrated in the Community legislation already applicable to parts of Germany, Slovakia and France, where the disease is only present in the wild boar. Now that all of these draft Commission Decisions related to classical swine fever in Bulgaria and Romania have been agreed in the Standing Committee, they will be formally adopted by the Commission before the end of the year.