STC Number - 161

EC Directive 2001/661/EC regarding foot and mouth disease

Maintained by: European Union
Raised by: South Africa
Supported by:
First date raised: April 2003 G/SPS/R/29, paras. 38-39
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: G/SPS/GEN/373
Products covered: 0201 Meat of bovine animals, fresh or chilled.; 0204 Meat of sheep or goats, fresh, chilled or frozen.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; International Standards / Harmonization; Pest or Disease free Regions / Regionalization
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

South Africa stated that its concerns were detailed in G/SPS/GEN/373. South Africa and Namibia are identified as zones free from FMD without vaccination by the OIE. EC Directive 2001/661 recognized the free-zone status, allowing the import of fresh meat from South Africa except for areas within the FMD control zone of South Africa. However, Directive 2001/661 required supplementary guarantees for the export of ovine and caprine meat from the FMD free zones without vaccination and was inconsistent with Article 2.1.120 of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the OIE. Article does not require the deboning of meat if the meat originates from FMD free countries or zones where vaccination is not practiced.

The European Communities explained that Council Directive 72/462 differentiated between various types of FMD. The Directive provided that the import of fresh meat from regions which were FMD free without vaccination but where vaccination against SAT or Asiat 1 viruses was practiced in another region of the country could only be authorized under certain conditions. One of the conditions was that the meat be mature, de-boned, with lymph nodes removed and that importation take place only three weeks after slaughter. These conditions applied to South Africa due to the presence of SAT in a part of South Africa even though certain areas were officially FMD-free without vaccination. The EC legislation, dating from 1972, was to be updated as SAT was no longer considered differently from other virus strains. This would occur with the entry into force of Council Directive 99/2002 on 1 January 2005. However, the European Communities was concerned that there had been four outbreaks of FMD in Namibia originating from Zimbabwe, where there were hundreds of cases. In these circumstances, it was prudent to authorize only the importation of de-boned, mature meat. Once the new Directive was in force, the European Communities would review its measure in light of the FMD situation in South Africa and its neighbouring countries.