Article Text

Movement of food animals within the single market


The concerns of this paper may be summarised as follows: (a) Animal identification--Much work remains to be done, if a Community system of identification of all food animals, which is both clear and certain, is to be put in place and operated effectively. (b) Certification--The ball is in the Commission's court at this time, and they should be encouraged to proceed as quickly as possible with: (i) finalising their official recommendation; (ii) discussing with OIE the drafting of an appropriate commentary; (iii) carrying out a survey of their own certificates, in order to ensure that they all comply fully with the terms of the recommendation. (c) Animal welfare--The continuing breach of the Community's existing regulations on the transport of animals is bringing into disrepute not only the legislation, per se, but also the Commission itself because of its apparent inability to enforce it. The FVE has a role to play in this matter and if no other way forward can be found, new initiatives such as veterinary certification at the point of destination should be considered. (d) Veterinary checks--The primary purpose of the Single Market arrangements, in relation to the movement of animals, was to promote free trade and free movement while maintaining tight control over animal diseases and preventing their spread. The weaknesses of, and lack of confidence to date in, the system require the Commission to carry out a thorough survey and ensure that shortcomings are rectified. The Council resolution of December 22, 1993 to this effect may not go far enough.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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