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Some Foot and Mouth Restrictions Lifted 8 August 2007

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Phil Gawne MHK, said this afternoon “I am pleased to be able to announce that following the receipt of test results from livestock recently imported into the Island I am confident that the Isle of Man is currently free of Foot and Mouth Disease.

The European Union issued Commission Decision 2007/552/EC on 6th August 2007. This Decision set out interim protection measures which reinforced those already taken by United Kingdom authorities following the outbreak. The measures included the culling of all animals on the infected holding, the application of stringent movement restrictions and increased biosecurity measures.

Whilst the Isle of Man was not subject to this Decision it was felt necessary to introduce our own restrictions in order to reduce any risk to Island agriculture, and to that end immediate controls were put in place on the Isle of Man for Foot and Mouth Disease. These controls have been kept under constant review and I have been advised that the following changes can now be made:

Horses

The prohibition on the importation of horses is now lifted. New licences will be required which include EU health certification conditions. The Department continues to recommend that horses should be exercised on the land where they are kept however it is now reasonable to hack out on open, tarmacadamed roads and beaches provided that hooves are picked out and disinfected with an approved disinfectant on departure and re-entry to premises.

Footpaths

The blanket closure of footpaths is no longer necessary however unfenced paths crossing agricultural land will have to remain closed for the time being. Individual paths are being opened on a case by case basis and some sections may have to remain closed. I would ask for your patience as over 90 paths are currently in the process of being re-opened.

Meat and Dairy Products

Further to the European Commission Decision the export of specific meat and dairy products from Great Britain to the Isle of Man is prohibited.

DAFF has moved to support this decision by prohibiting the importation of such items under the Foot and Mouth Disease (Importation) (Temporary Prohibition) Order 2007.

The order generally prohibits, for the next three months, the importation of any meat except under the authority of a licence issued by the Department. The meaning of meat includes mince, other comminuted meats and sausages. It does not include poultry meat of any kind.

A general licence has been produced that permits the importation of meat in factory sealed packaging that bears the European health mark. This licence does not exempt the need for a licence under the Dead Meat (Import Regulation) Order 1968 for the importation of sheepmeat, beef or veal

Unpasteurised milk is prohibited; most other dairy products that have undergone heat treatment are unaffected (detailed in the EU Decision).

Copies of the order can be obtained from the Department by telephoning 685841.

Commission Decision 2007/552/EC can be found at the following link:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/oj/2007/l_206/l_20620070807en00100021.pdf

Further information can be obtained from Animal health at the following address.

Animal Health Division, 3rd Floor, Rose House, 51-59 Circular Road, Douglas, IM1 1AZ Telephone: 685844

Contact the Animal Health Division or visit the DAFF website at http://www.gov.im/daff/footandmouth.xml website for more details.

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