Animal diseases: Commission adopts harmonised rules on vaccination of animals

Today, as part of the measures to address the largest epidemic of avian flu observed in the EU so far, the Commission is harmonising the rules on vaccination of animals against the most serious animal diseases. In the context of avian flu, specific rules for vaccination will be introduced when used as a measure to control or prevent the disease. This will allow safe movements of animals and products from establishments and zones where vaccination has taken place.

Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “In light of the most serious outbreak in recent history in the EU, the fight against avian influenza is at the top of our priorities. These outbreaks are causing enormous damage to this agricultural sector and hamper trade. The rules presented today will allow for a harmonisation of the use of vaccination to prevent or control the spread of the disease and set conditions to enable movement of vaccinated animals and their products.

These new rules are in line with the international standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE) and take account of newly available scientific knowledge and the experience gained in the application of the existing Union rules.

The new rules are published today in the Official Journal and will enter into force on 12 March. Read more on avian influenza.