Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-04-03-Speech-2-181"

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"Mr President, we must see the current crisis resulting from foot-and-mouth disease as an opportunity to consider the European Union’s vetinary policy. First of all, it is hard to understand why the Union is finding it so difficult to react to this disease and to adopt a strategy to combat it. Starting with the Veterinary Committee, which only belatedly authorised vaccination, then the Council of Agriculture Ministers, which seemed more concerned with external trade issues than with controlling the situation, and finally, the Stockholm European Council, which danced around the crisis, like a ‘cat on a hot tin roof’, insisting on referring all the costs to the financial framework defined in Berlin. Secondly, the problems faced by some countries today in mobilising resources to deal with sick animals are clear for all to see. The European Union itself has never advocated a genuine common veterinary policy and in my own county we have seen a degree of laxness creeping into health policy, with unbelievable delays in payments to health protection agencies cofinanced by the European Union. Lastly, I wish to emphasise the urgency of adopting a decision on the strategy that we should follow. We know that it is not easy and that both vaccination and non-vaccination have their pros and cons. What is happening, though, is that the assessment carried out ten years ago which led to opting for non-vaccination must now be reconsidered in the light of the many aspects of European farming that have changed since then, starting with its integration into the global economy, which has increased the risks of contamination exponentially. Selective preventive vaccination or vaccination within a on a regional basis, should be seen as alternatives that the Member States can authorise, according to the number of cases they discover. Otherwise, we shall run the risk of losing control of a potential future outbreak of an even greater crisis, or of irreversibly damaging irreplaceable genetic heritage, as has happened, in some countries, with certain native breeds."@en1

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