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Commission Decision of 15 September 2005 concerning a financial contribution by the Community in the context of the emergency measures taken to combat bluetongue in Portugal in 2004 and 2005 (notified under document number C(2005) 3446) (Only the Portuguese text is authentic) (2005/660/EC)

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U.K.

Commission Decision

of 15 September 2005

concerning a financial contribution by the Community in the context of the emergency measures taken to combat bluetongue in Portugal in 2004 and 2005

(notified under document number C(2005) 3446)

(Only the Portuguese text is authentic)

(2005/660/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 Article 9(2) thereof,

Having regard to Council Decision 90/424/EEC of 26 June 1990 on expenditure in the veterinary field(2), and in particular Article 3(3), (4) and (5), second indent, and Article 5(3) thereof,

Whereas:

(1) On 24 November 2004, outbreaks of bluetongue appeared in Portugal. The emergence of this disease represents a serious risk to the Community’s livestock population.

(2) In order to prevent the spread of the disease as rapidly as possible, the Community must contribute financially to the eligible expenditure incurred by the Member State in the context of the emergency measures taken to combat the disease, as provided for in Decision 90/424/EEC.

(3) Various decisions, notably the latest one, Decision 2005/393/EC of 23 May 2005 on protection and surveillance zones in relation to bluetongue and conditions applying to movements from or through these zones(3), have been adopted by the Commission in order to demarcate the protection and surveillance zones and to set out the conditions governing movements of animals from these zones.

(4) Bluetongue is a disease transmitted exclusively by ‘mosquitoes’, therefore the only measures which are apposite, of all those provided for in Article 3(2) of Decision 90/424/EEC, are those aimed either at protecting animals against attacks from the vectors (treatment with insecticides, confining the animals indoors at the times when the vectors are active) or at preventing the spread of the epidemic through movements of animals (Decision 2005/393/EC). The slaughter of animals of susceptible species is not an apposite measure except in the case of animals clinically affected with bluetongue.

(5) Due to the evolution of the disease, it is advisable to implement a vaccination campaign in the protection zones established around outbreaks of bluetongue.

(6) Vaccination is a measure which, employed in combination with apposite eradication measures, makes it possible to:

(a)

reduce mortality in sheep;

(b)

prevent viraemia in cattle and thus enable cattle to be moved from restricted zones.

(7) In accordance with Article 3(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1258/1999 of 17 May 1999 on the financing of the common agricultural policy(4), veterinary and plant health measures undertaken in accordance with Community rules are financed by the ‘Guarantee’ section of the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund. The auditing of these measures comes under Articles 8 and 9 of the said Regulation.

(8) The payment of the financial contribution from the Community must be subject to the condition that the actions planned have actually been carried out and that the authorities supply all the necessary information within the time limits laid down.

(9) On 28 December 2004 Portugal submitted an initial estimation of the costs incurred in the context of the emergency measures taken to combat the disease. This estimation, updated on 25 February 2005, amounts to EUR 9 005 320.

(10) Pending checks by the Commission, it is now necessary to set the amount for payment of the first instalment of the Community financial assistance. This first instalment must be equal to 50 % of the Community contribution, established on the basis of the estimated costs of compensating livestock farmers for the slaughter of animals and other costs.

(11) The terms ‘swift and adequate compensation of the livestock farmers’ used in Article 3 of Decision 90/424/EEC, ‘reasonable payments’ and ‘justified payments’ and the categories of eligible expenditure under ‘other costs’ associated with compulsory slaughter must all be defined.

(12) The Portuguese authorities have fulfilled all their technical and administrative obligations with regard to the measures provided for in Article 3 of Decision 90/424/EEC.

(13) 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 224, 18.8.1990, p. 19. Decision as last amended by Directive 2003/99/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 325, 12.12.2003, p. 31).

(3)

OJ L 130, 24.5.2005, p. 22. Decision as last amended by Decision 2005/603/EC (OJ L 206, 9.8.2005, p. 11).

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