Saving our bacon

European Commision calls for pigs to be vaccinated against foot and mouth

source: Deborah MacKenzie
New Scientist April 17 1999 p25

The European Commission argues that pigs should be vaccinated against foot and mouth disease (FMD), which has spread through the Russian Caucasus. The European Commission is reversing its previous policy of opposition to vaccination. Previously, diagnostic tests could not distinguish infected from vaccinated animals, both groups showing antibodies to FMD, which meant that importers banned them. The Commision even recommended that vaccination cease in 1991. Vaccines have since been developed that allow infected animals to be distinguished from vaccinated animals. The Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Welfare of the European Commission argues that animals near an FMD outbreak should be vaccinated as a priority. Meanwhile, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has expressed concern about the Caucasus outbreaks. Iraq also exports livestock, and veterinary controls in Iraq have ceased to function properly.