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USDA Proposes To Change The Disease Status Of Four Countries In The European Union

by 5m Editor
14 February 2007, at 12:22pm

US - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced a proposal to amend its animal import regulations by changing the disease statuses of the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

The proposed changes would add these countries to the regions of the European Union (EU) considered low risk for classical swine fever (CSF) and free of swine vesicular disease (SVD). Latvia and Lithuania would also be added to the list of regions considered free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and rinderpest.

When the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland became members of the EU, they adopted its animal health, welfare and identification legislation, including legislation specific to CSF, FMD and SVD. By adopting these laws and regulations, as well as undergoing a thorough APHIS-risk assessment, these countries met the requirements for a change in status.

This proposed change in disease status means that there would be fewer restrictions on the import of animals and animal products from these countries. For example, no swine may be imported from any region affected with CSF or SVD, although some cooked and cured products from affected regions are allowed into the United States. Countries under FMD restriction are not allowed to export ruminant animals and fresh or chilled ruminant animal product into the United States.

CSF is a highly contagious and often fatal disease of pigs. Young animals are more severely affected than older animals and mortality rates can reach up to 90 percent among young pigs. SVD is less severe and does not usually cause death. An SVD outbreak has not occurred in the United States and CSF was eradicated in 1976.

FMD is a contagious viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals. Cattle, pigs, sheep and goats are highly susceptible to FMD. Although the death rates are often low, it has serious lasting negative effects on infected animals that survive the disease. It causes decreased milk production, decreased pregnancy rates, weight loss, and lameness.

5m Editor