The European Union Council of Agriculture Ministers has voted for new legislation to control outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), according to

The European Commission says the new directive sets out detailed measures to rapidly control and eradicate the disease, and outlines procedures on recovering the status ‘free of FMD and infection without vaccination’ – which is of vital importance for trade.

The new directive also includes measures to ensure a high level of preparedness against the disease. Member States must comply with the provisions by June 30, 2004, at the latest.

The new law is aimed at maintaining or, in the event of an outbreak, quickly regaining the FMD-free status, which was of key importance for trade in animals and animal products.