February 29, 2008
February 29, 2007 - The United Kingdom (UK) has been officially declared foot and mouth disease (FMD) free (without vaccination) by the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) Scientific Commission.
The UK was granted European Union (EU) disease-free status on Dec. 31, 2007, and normal agricultural trade with the EU followed. At the same time, the UK applied to re-gain its wider OIE FMD free status.
According to the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, OIE rules allow countries to apply to regain their official FMD free status provided that there has been a three month disease-free period without vaccination since the last confirmed case.
No cases of FMD have been identified in the UK since Sept. 30, 2007, as a direct result of the UK's robust disease control and surveillance program. The FMD free declaration by the OIE moves the UK closer to lifting the FMD-related import ban on agricultural commodities in non-EU countries. Reprinted from Meat and Livestock Australia