BRUSSELS (B)--The European Commission announced Aug. 14 that it was imposing a ban on exports of live pigs and pig semen from England following an outbreak of classical swine fever. A Commission spokesman said the ban would not apply to animals being exported from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
The ban will apply to exports both to other EU countries and to countries outside the EU. Commission spokesman Catherine Bunyan said that the controls had been adopted after intensive discussions with the UK authorities. On the basis of the available data about the spread of the disease and the transport of animals, it was not felt necessary to extend the ban to the whole of the United Kingdom, she said.
The disease outbreak is a further blow to the already struggling UK pig industry. The export of live animals is estimated to have an annual turnover of U.S. $18 million.
The ban will be subject to continuous review. The EU's standing veterinary committee has called a special meeting to discuss the outbreak on Aug. 22.
Classical swine fever is highly contagious but the disease is not communicable to humans.