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Commission Decision of 9 March 2005 amending Decision 2003/828/EC as regards exemptions from the exit ban for domestic movements of animals (notified under document number C(2005) 544) (Text with EEA relevance) (2005/216/EC)

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Commission Decision

of 9 March 2005

amending Decision 2003/828/EC as regards exemptions from the exit ban for domestic movements of animals

(notified under document number C(2005) 544)

(Text with EEA relevance)

(2005/216/EC)

THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,

Having regard to Council Directive 2000/75/EC of 20 November 2000 laying down specific provisions for the control and eradication of bluetongue(1), and in particular Articles 9(1)(c) and Article 12 thereof,

Whereas:

(1) Commission Decision 2003/828/EC of 25 November 2003 on protection and surveillance zones in relation to bluetongue(2) was adopted in the light of the bluetongue situation prevailing in the regions of the Community affected by outbreaks of that disease. That Decision demarcates protection and surveillance zones (the restricted zones) corresponding to specific epidemiological situations and lays down the conditions for providing for exemptions from the exit ban provided for in Directive 2000/75/EC for certain movements of animals, their sperm, ova and embryos from and through those zones.

(2) Winter conditions in parts of the regions of the Community affected by bluetongue have resulted in a cessation of the vector’s activity and as a consequence of the circulation of the bluetongue virus.

(3) Accordingly, it is appropriate to establish rules providing for exemptions from the exit ban for animals in the concerned parts of the restricted zones during periods where there is a proven absence of viral circulation or of vectors.

(4) When since the cessation of the vector’s activity a period has elapsed which is longer than the seroconversion period, seronegative animals can be moved with an acceptable level of risk from the restricted zones as they cannot be or become infected. Animals which are seropositive but virologically negative (PCR negative) may also be moved as they are not and cannot become viremic.

(5) Animals born after the cessation of the vector’s activity cannot be infected and as a consequence can be moved with no risk from the restricted zone in the absence of the vector’s activity.

(6) As the traceability of the movements of those animals must be subject to strict controls, those movements should be limited to domestic movements to holdings registered by the competent authority of the holding of destination.

(7) In addition, any such movements must cease when the vector’s activity re-starts in an epidemiological relevant area of the restricted zones concerned.

(8) The measures provided for in this Decision are in accordance with the opinion of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

(2)

OJ L 311, 27.11.2003, p. 41. Decision as last amended by Decision 2005/138/EC (OJ L 47, 18.2.2005, p. 38).

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