The European Commission adopted this week interim protective measures following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the county of Louth in Ireland. The dispatch of species of live animals which are susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease from anywhere in Ireland is prohibited. In addition, the consignment of fresh meat and meat products, milk and milk products and other animal products from these species from the county of Louth is prohibited, unless these products are treated appropriately. Vehicles used for the transport of livestock and milk have to be disinfected. This recent decision will apply immediately until 4 April and will be reviewed at the meeting of the Standing Veterinary Committee scheduled for the 27 March 2001. On 22 March an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease was declared in the County of Louth in Ireland. The disease was detected in a farm situated in the surveillance zone around the outbreak in Northern Ireland, a few weeks ago. The Irish authorities have already applied additional measures to contain and eliminate the disease. The Commissionhas however today decided to adopt supplementary interim Community protective measures. Japan will ban livestock and meat imports from the European Union from Monday.