EU - The EU has adopted a new Animal Health Law, which Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said was another weapon in the fight against animal diseases and antimicrobial resistance.
The Commissioner welcomed the law, saying: "I welcome the adoption of the new Animal Health Law by the European Parliament and the Council on the basis of the Commission's proposal.
"The new law that comes into force on 20 April paves the way for a more efficient system to combat transmissible animal diseases.
"These diseases, like foot and mouth disease or bluetongue, can have a devastating effect on our livestock production. Others, such as avian influenza, or certain newly emerging diseases, also have the potential to affect human health.
"The new law provides a single, comprehensive animal health framework to replace the series of complicated rules which have accumulated over the years.
"Compared with the system currently in place, the new Animal Health Law provides simpler and clearer directions for national authorities so they can focus on the main priorities when combating animal diseases.
"The adopted legislation also clarifies the division of responsibilities between animal keepers, traders, veterinarians, and national authorities and puts in place better notification and surveillance tools to fight animal diseases.
"This in turn should lead to fewer epidemics in EU countries, and help them reduce their social and economic effects thus ensuring the competitiveness and safety of EU livestock production.
"The new legislation also recognises the importance of recent emerging issues, such as antimicrobial resistance, and sets out a better legal basis for monitoring animal pathogens which are resistant to antimicrobial agents.
"This will be supplemented by two further proposals - on veterinary medicines and on medicated feed - currently being negotiated in the European Parliament and Council."
Top image via Shutterstock