Conference on Community Animal Health Policy Strategy (2007-2013) - 7 November 2006 PANEL 1: Discussion on challenges for the future CAHP - Short written statement by FRANZ-JOSEF FEITER COPA-COGECA welcomes the fact that the EU is evaluating and discussing the future of Community animal health policy (CAHP) and is happy to contribute actively in this debate. The future of the CAHP is crucial to COPA-COGECA as COPA-COGECA represent 15 million people working on EU farm holdings either full- time or part-time and more than 40.000 cooperatives. COPA-COGECA has considered 4 topics of importance on which they wish to draw a particular attention to: 1. Simplification of community legislation. 2. Risk reduction and prevention (this point will extensively be tackled by FESSAS in Panel 2) 3. Financial resources (this point will be extensively tackled in Panel 3 by M. Per Olsen also from COPA-COGECA) 4. Communication COPA-COPA-COGECA would like to remind that throughout the history of animal husbandry, it has been natural for farmers to ensure the welfare of their animals, to keep them from suffering or pain and to provide adequate conditions for the health of the animals. It has to be noted that good animal health is a significant part of animal husbandry and is also important for practical production reasons. Farmers play an essential role in monitoring the health of animals under their care on an ongoing basis. The animals are thus observed regularly by the farmers so as to ensure that the first signs of disease are detected and that appropriate action is taken at the earliest opportunity. 1. SIMPLIFICATION OF COMMUNITY LEGISLATION European legislation is getting more and more complicated and so detailed that it is sometime difficult to fully understand also for experts. This situation makes it sometime difficult to be able to tackle an animal health problem in a prompt and appropriate way, especially in case of emergency. Simplification should, in particular, focus on 4 aspects: the simplification of paperwork, the possibility to consider a harmonised livestock identification and registration system throughout the EU 25, the definition a health status of farms via qualification or certification of livestock farms obeying certain rules and the harmonisation and better understanding and interpretation of animal health rules at international level (OIE), in particular as far as vaccination and regionalisation are concerned. 2. RISK REDUCTION AND PREVENTION Risk reduction, through the adoption of preventative health strategies and proper bio security measures at EU borders, is an important tool in the battle against all animal disease. All production of agricultural goods must be based on safe and sustainable methods and practices in line with the defence of the European model of agriculture. Risk reduction has to be achieved at 4 levels: International, EU, National and Farm. 3. FINANCIAL RESOURCES The existence of the current EU Veterinary Fund should not be questioned; neither should the balance between community and national co-financing of animal health measures. 4. COMMISSION COMMUNICATION POLICY Towards key stakeholders COPA-COGECA support the idea of a more planned and scheduled cooperation between DG SANCO and key stakeholders. A more structured way of cooperating would provide both parties with better opportunities of discussing current issues. COPA-COGECA, for example, has taken the initiative to set up regular meetings with members of the EU food chain to discuss emergency vaccination against CSF and FMD. Towards the general public / consumer in the EU It is of the utmost importance to improve the communication policy on the animal health situation in EU and explain it to the consumer. Currently many EU consumers are unaware that EU standards relating to animal health are among the most efficient in the world. Towards third countries In addition, communication should be improved towards third countries, in order to make them fully aware of the EU sanitary status and of the measures applied to maintain it and safeguard animal health. Compliance with EU animal health legislation must be a prerequisite for imports of livestock products and live animals from third countries.
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