20 April 2001
Dutch to destroy vaccinated cattle

By Philip Clarke, Europe editor

DUTCH cattle vaccinated against foot-and-mouth will be slaughtered within two months of being injected, said agriculture minister Laurens Jan Brinkhorst.

The decision follows detailed discussions with farm leaders, most of whom felt the consequences of keeping them alive would be too onerous.

In particular, all farm animals within 10km of the existing vaccination zone would also be subject to export restrictions.

That amounts to about 1.5 million animals, including 500,000 cattle and 800,000 pigs, according to a spokesman for the Dutch farmers union.

Those restrictions would last for at least 12 months after the last foot-and vaccine had been administered.

But since vaccinated animals would need a second dose in six months time to secure their immunity, exports would be held up for at least 18 months.

After that it would be in the hands of the European Union when to lift the export ban, said a Dutch ministry of agriculture spokesman.

Although meat and milk from vaccinated animals could legally be consumed in Holland, nobody would want to eat it, he added.

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Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage