The European Union (EU) has earmarked almost €161 million (£122m) to animal disease eradication, control and surveillance programmes in 2016.

€161 million (£122m) earmarked for animal disease programmes in 2016 by the European Union. Image: eyetronic / Fotolia.

A total of 130 programmes have been identified for EU funding. They include:

  • bovine tuberculosis – about €62 million (£47m)
  • transmissible spongiform encephalopathies – about €12 million (£9m)
  • rabies – €26 million (£20m)
  • salmonellosis – about €17 million (£13m)
  • bovine brucellosis – about €10 million (£7.5m)
  • classical swine fever – €2.5 million (£2m)
  • avian influenza – €2 million (£1.5m)

Compared to 2015, an increased amount of €7 million (£5m) has been allocated in 2016 for the implementation of eradication and control of African swine fever programmes – mainly in the four member states where the disease has occurred in 2013.

Unprecedented success

EU co-financing has resulted in a continuous improvement of animal health and also a decrease in the number of human cases of various zoonotic diseases, such as salmonellosis (from 151,292 cases in 2007 to 80,677 cases in 2014). Similar success was noted also for brucellosis and other zoonotic diseases.

The co-funded programmes for oral vaccination against rabies in wild animals have been very successful, with the EU achieving a level of rabies eradication that has never been experienced anywhere else.

The total number of rabies cases at EU level in wild animals decreased significantly from 814 in 2007 to just 216 cases in 2014 with very few human cases reported.

Officials said, given the serious impact animal disease outbreaks can have on human health, but also on economy and trade, the allocation of EU co-financing will continue to assist national authorities in putting in place precautionary measures, disease surveillance and eradication programmes, at national and European level.

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