Farming News - EU cuts animal disease funding by €45m
EU cuts animal disease funding by €45m
The European Union has agreed to earmark €214 million to fight animal disease next year; the figure represents a €45 m cut in funding.
Ministers on the standing committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health agreed to European Commission proposals to earmark €203 m to develop disease eradication programmes in 2012 and unanimously endorsed an EC proposal to allocate €11.5 m for emergency measures and vaccination plans.
By way of explanation, ministers commented that the reduced funding for disease eradication showed measures taken to reduce animal disease outbreaks had been successful. They used examples including bluetongue and avian flu to support this.
Health commissioner John Dalli said financing bovine tuberculosis programmes in five Member States would account for the lion’s share of earmarked funds, at a cost of around €65 m. €54m will also be set aside for tackling transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Funding for tackling bluetongue has been scaled back, as officials say efforts are progressing well.
A further €2.3 m will go towards helping member states carry out surveillance for avian flu in poultry and wild birds to detect early outbreaks and prevent spread of the disease.
Following the ruling, John Dalli, commented on the reductions in funding, "It is rewarding to witness the tangible benefits of the EU’s efforts, which have resulted in a significantly improved situation on TSE, salmonella, rabies, bluetongue, classical swine fever, avian influenza, tuberculosis and brucellosis.
"Being aware of the current budgetary constraints, the Commission has done its utmost to keep assisting, particularly in areas where difficulties persist and to ensure the maintenance of the vigilance in order to better protect consumers."