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Weekly Overview: New EU Animal Health Law Aims to Reduce Disease, Improve Ag Competitiveness

4 April 2016, at 12:00a.m.

ANALYSIS - The EU has adopted a new Animal Health Law which will come into force on 20 April 2016. The new law aims to help prevent animal diseases, reduce the use of antibiotics and therefore, keep EU livestock production competitive.

The EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, said the law will pave the way for a more efficient system to combat transmissible animal diseases.

"The new law provides a single, comprehensive animal health framework to replace the series of complicated rules which have accumulated over the years.

"Compared with the system currently in place, the new Animal Health Law provides simpler and clearer directions for national authorities so they can focus on the main priorities when combating animal diseases.

"The adopted legislation also clarifies the division of responsibilities between animal keepers, traders, veterinarians, and national authorities and puts in place better notification and surveillance tools to fight animal diseases," said Mr Andriukaitis.

In market news, the European Commission cleared the creation of a joint venture between the French company Avril Pôle Animal and the German company Tönnies.

The joint venture will process, package and sell fresh pork from France at retail level.

In disease news, more African Swine Fever (ASF) has been reported in wild boar across Europe.

Lithuania reported six cases, Latvia 24 cases, Poland three cases, Estonia 25 cases and Russia eight cases.

Ukraine also reported an ASF outbreak in farmed pigs.

An outbreak of classical swine fever was also discovered in wild boar in far eastern Russia.