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News 914 views last update:Jan 31, 2008

Controversy over SVD in Italy

Italy did not report an outbreak of swine vesicular disease (SVD) to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in the area around Brescia.

89 cases of the disease were reported last year by Italy, but these were mainly in the Southern regions.

The area is still not considered disease-free by the EU as around 30,000 animals were reported there infected since the beginning of December last year.

To make matters worse, the main part of Italy's pig breeding industry is concentrated around Brescia.

A year ago, an epidemic of SVD was rife in the provinces of Brescia, Bergamo and Mantua, but appeared in February to be under control. In July, a new outbreak occurred, which continued spreading until November.

On November 17, ANAS (Italian Association of Pig Breeders) distributed a circular from the veterinary office of the Italian health ministry stating that the virus was being controlled but that pig transports within Italy and elsewhere in the EU were forbidden.

Italy is required to carry out a double cleaning and disinfection of all transports of pigs leaving the country.

Sore
€28m has been invested in controlling the disease and the fact that the EU has not declared the Brescia area to be 'disease-free' is a sore point with the Italian officials.

This issue will most certainly be on the agenda of the next meeting of Scofca- the EU's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.

Technical director of ANAS, Luca Buttazoni, has also called for SVD to be removed from the list of dangerous diseases.

Related website:

• OIE

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