Germany Adjusts to New Animal Health Regulations

5 May 2014, at 10:49am

GERMANY – Greater responsibility now rests on farmers to improve farm biosecurity and prevent disease after a new government ruling was announced on 1 May.

The new Animal Health Act tightens up guidelines on combatting and controlling livestock disease and demands extra care from veterinarians and animal owners.

But the ruling goes too far in its demands of farmers, who have little impact in a border-free Europe with public access to land, according to the German Farmers Association (DBV).

“Many diseases are not influenced farmers,” said a DBV spokesperson. “Often pet-owners are powerless too; we saw this in the recent Schmallenberg and Bluetongue cases.”

No matter how good farm biosecurity is, it cannot stop pathogens entering by careless travellers and mistakes made at border control, the spokesman added.

Looking ahead, the spokesman said DBV leaders want to see politicians and society act sensitively to support farmers' efforts to control disease.