STC Number - 237

Lack of regionalization for Newcastle disease and restrictions on live birds

Maintained by: Brazil
Raised by: European Union
Supported by:
First date raised: March 2006 G/SPS/R/40, paras. 30-33
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 01 Live animals; 0105 Live poultry, that is to say, fowls of the species Gallus domesticus, ducks, geese, turkeys and guinea fowls.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Human health; Zoonoses; Pest or Disease free Regions / Regionalization
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

The European Communities raised concerns regarding import restrictions applied to EC products related to the failure to recognize regionalization and the disease-free status of some EC member States. France had made several official requests for recognition of regionalization for Newcastle disease to the Brazilian authorities during 2005 and 2006, however no recognition of regionalization had been made by the Brazilian competent authorities.
The EC member States did not understand why Brazil refused to recognize regionalization for Newcastle disease while the European Communities recognized regionalization of Brazil for Newcastle disease and for other major animal diseases. A situation where a whole country was affected by a ban when only a limited part of its territory was affected by a disease did not fit the concept of regionalization promoted by the SPS Agreement. Trade had to be allowed from other areas or regions within a country where the disease did not exist. The European Communities urged Brazil to respect Article 6 of the SPS Agreement, to follow the international rules set up by the OIE and to respond positively to legitimate requests for the application of the principle of regionalization for EC member States.
Brazil reported that due to an outbreak of Newcastle disease in the French department of the Loire Atlantique, reported to the OIE on 27 July 2005, on 5 August 2005 Brazil suspended imports of live birds and avian genetic material, exclusively from that French department. Another case was notified to the OIE on 21 October 2005 in the Port de Calais department, whereupon Brazil extended the import restrictions to the whole of the French territory. A further outbreak of Newcastle disease was subsequently notified in another French department on 18 November 2005. French health authorities denied any epidemiological connection between the outbreaks and reported that the outbreaks had been related to contamination by migrating birds. On 25 February 2006, a case of highly pathogenic (AI) was identified in France, which once again was attributed to contamination by migrating birds.
In the light of all the outbreaks attributed to migrating birds, Brazil decided to monitor the situation in France with regard to bird diseases, in order to protect its own population. Brazil wished to maintain good trade relations with France and the European Communities, and applied fully the provisions of Article 6 on regionalization. However, the outbreaks of Newcastle disease, the available information and the recent occurrence of AI were all relevant. Brazil was the world's largest exporter of chicken, and needed to maintain its status as free of AI.