Farming MEP Comments on Bluetongue Breach

09 April 2009
Alyn Smith MEP has expressed his concern at news that EU Bluetongue regulations appear to have been breached in the Netherlands.

His comments come in wake of the news that two heifers have been left stranded at Stranraer en route to Southern Ireland after it was discovered that they had been pregnant before being vaccinated against Bluetongue, thereby breaching the European regulations on movements between Europe's BTV8 zone, which includes the Netherlands, and a BTV-free zone such as Ireland.

Smith, Scotland's only full member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, said:

"This is worrying news at the best of times, but even more so as we reach the end of the vector-free period when vigilance for any signs of Bluetongue must increase. While Scots farmers have been conscientious in their support of the voluntary import ban, as well as in ensuring that their livestock is vaccinated according to the EU regulations, it is concerning that rules are not being correctly implemented and enforced elsewhere.

"I will continue to work with the Scottish Government to make sure that Scotland's livestock sector is not put at unnecessary risk due to the negligence of farmers elsewhere in Europe, and commend Scotland's farmers for all their efforts in preventing the spread of the disease in this country."