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European law on animal-transmitted diseases will improve public health and food safety


24 Feb 2016


Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

Animal-transmitted diseases like African Swine Fever and bird flu show how important it is avoid the spread of infectious diseases and to deal with animal health at a European level. Even beyond specific outbreaks, between 20 million and 30 million people in the European Union work with animals. 
At a vote in the agriculture committee in the European Parliament, the S&D Group today backed an agreement with the Council to establish a European regulation on transmissible animal diseases.  For the first time ever, the EU will have a law establishing a link between the well-being of animals and public health.

S&D spokesperson on this issue, MEP Michela Giuffrida, said:

“Animal health has a direct impact on public health and food safety, so we must ensure proper rules and their implementation.

“A list of diseases will be created –and updated- , based on input from experts and from the European Food Safety Authority. Then the authorities at the appropriate level will decide and apply disease control measures in a clear, transparent and inclusive manner.
“The new regulation will introduce a legal requirement for all operators and animal keepers to ensure prudent and responsible use of veterinary medicines, in order to avoid antimicrobial resistance in animals and humans.
“And it will also cover animal welfare in different ways. It will introduce a legal requirement for all operators and animal keepers to apply the principle of good animal husbandry, in addition to biosecurity measures.”