Less than two years after it has been hit by African swine fever (ASF), and following massive efforts to eradicate the disease, Czechia received today the support of the Member States to lift all the restrictions in the country.
Following the discovery of the disease in a wild board in June 2017, in the district of Zlín, the Commission had deployed its EU Veterinary Emergency team of experts and started working very closely with the national and regional authorities to adopt veterinary measures to control the disease. This type of targeted measures has also been implemented in recent months in Belgium, the latest Member State concerned by the disease.
Since no more cases of African swine fever had been identified in Czechia as of April 2018, the Commission proposed today to the Member States to lift all the restrictions. This proposal has been endorsed by a vote in a Standing Committee.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, welcomed this vote, stressing that "the example of Czechia demonstrates that, when the tools and strategies developed in the EU are properly applied, the disease can be controlled and even eradicated. It shows that our policies are effective and there is no place for unjustified trade restrictions. This is a small reward, yet we cannot afford to relax our efforts since the fight against African swine fever is still ongoing".
The Commission will formally adopt the Decision in the coming weeks.
Tuesday February 26, 2019/ EC/ European Union.