Prevention now EU disease aim
Europe is to move away from solely compensating farmers for losses incurred due to disease outbreaks and will concentrate instead on prevention.
The radical change in emphasis was signalled by the EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli.
Speaking at the launch of an All-Ireland Animal Health initiative in Co Cavan, Mr Dalli admitted the policy shift would require a "culture change".
He claimed, however, that promoting prevention schemes would save on the much heavier expenditure required to combat serious disease outbreaks.
The Commissioner said the legal framework for the new strategy would be contained in an EU Animal Health Law set to be enacted by 2013.
"This requires a culture change to consider outlays for prevention programmes as an investment to save much heavier expenditure to combat outbreaks," Mr Dalli said.
"We should also consider how the financing of such programmes is to be shared fairly between the principal players -- farmers, member states and the EU institutions."
On the issue of live animal transport, Mr Dalli said this was still under consideration and a Commission report would be issued on the subject by the second half of next year.