26 April 2002


uMINISTERS gave a positive response to commission plans to ban the last four antibiotics used as growth promoters in animal feed in Luxembourg. The aim is to remove them from the food chain by January 2006, to reduce antibiotic resistance in humans. Farm ministers from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Austria and Germany said it should be done sooner.

uFRANCE reported its first case of classical swine fever in more than a decade, in a wild boar close to the border with Luxembourg and Germany. The ministry of agriculture established a protection zone and banned farmers in the area from exporting pigs. It described the discovery as "a serious sanitary threat".

uLEGISLATION on soil quality is in the pipeline, following the launch of a new EU strategy paper. The report contains no specific proposals but suggests soil has been neglected by EU legislators and more must be done to fight pollution and erosion. It calls for extra agri-environment measures and a new directive to encourage the use of certified compost.

uTHE UK still has the highest incidence of BSE in the EU, according to statistics put to this weeks farm council. In the first three months of the year 272 cases were reported, followed by 116 in Ireland and 82 in France. In total there have been 125 cases of variant CJD in humans, of which 117 are in the UK and six are in France. &#42

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