EU cuts animal disease budget

By Keith Nuthall

- Last updated on GMT

EU cuts animal disease budget by €39m
EU cuts animal disease budget by €39m

Related tags: African swine fever, Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, European union, Livestock

The European Union (EU) has cut its budget for fighting animal diseases from €199m this year (2013) to just over €160m for 2014. While the European Commission has not explained the reduction, it comes as the EU embarks on a new medium-term budget cycle that includes a real-term financial cut for the first time in the EU’s history.

Spending on fighting bovine tuberculosis falls from €71m in 2013 to €56m in 2014; while the budget for preventing the spread of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) will fall from €54m to €42m.

However, there has however been an increase in spending on fighting rabies – up to €27.5m from €25m this year. A European Commission note stressed that rabies can be spread by animals to humans, and that the EU would continue to fund vaccination against rabies in neighbouring Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.

Another small increase in spending has been made to combat classical swine fever – for which €3m has been allocated, compared to €2.5m last year. Because of the risk of this disease entering the EU from the east, for the first time the EU will also fund vaccination against classical swine fever in Belarus in 2014.

Across all diseases, 142 programmes will be funded next year. Other diseases targeted are salmonellosis (€17.5m, up from €16.7m this year); bovine brucellosis (about €10m in 2014, up from €7.4m); avian influenza (€2.5m, compared to €2.6m in 2013); Bluetongue (€1.5m, as last year); and African swine fever and swine vesicular disease in Italy (about €850,000, down from €1.4m last year).

A Brussels communiqué said the EU-supported eradication and monitoring programmes would help “eliminate animal diseases and zoonoses and further strengthen the protection of human and animal health”​. It stressed that national government co-funding would further strengthen these “precautionary measures, disease surveillance and eradication programmes…”

These actions have “resulted in a continuous decrease in the number of cases of diseases”​, such as salmonellosis and TSEs, it added.

Related topics: Meat

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