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Cyprus Employers Want Ban on Meat Exports Lifted After FMD Outbreak

08 November 2007

CYPRUS - The Employers and Industrialists Federation, OEV, has called on the Cyprus government to take all measures to eradicate the foot and mouth disease (FMD) in order to save the farming sector as well as the related production industries, while adding that the ban imposed on Tuesday must be lifted as soon as possible.

OEV also called for the immediate compensation of the farmers whose livestock have been culled in order to prevent their financial demise and to keep the farmers active, while a quick resolve will help overturn any negative image among Cypriot and overseas consumers that could affect other industries as well.

Cyprus was declared a high risk zone Tuesday following the confirmed outbreak of foot and mouth disease, prompting the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health to ban all exports of fresh meat, dairy products and livestock from the island. The ban will remain in force until December 15.

Thousands of animals risk being culled in the first outbreak of FMD on the island in more than 40 years, with farmers and opposition parties accusing the government of poor handling of the whole crisis.

EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou’s spokesman Philip Tod told a press conference in Brussels Tuesday that Cyprus had been declared a high-risk zone, therefore all exports of livestock and products from these animals cannot be exported into the EU.

Government officials, aided by two Commission experts from the EU emergency veterinary team, are overseeing the culling of livestock in three farms in Larnaca’s Dromolaxia area that is expected to exceed 2,000 animals this week.

The disease could turn into an epidemic if further tests on samples from a number of farms in Paphos are also confirmed as FMD.

In line with EU legislation, the Cypriot authorities culled the sheep in the affected flocks and established a 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone around the infected holding.

Within these zones, stringent movement restrictions apply, surveillance has been stepped up and biosecurity measures have been strengthened. With Cyprus categorised as a high risk zone, there is a standstill on all livestock movement and no live cattle, sheep, goats or pigs, or products from these animals, can be exported from Cyprus, and other member states cannot send any such live animals to Cyprus.

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Source: Financial Mirror


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