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Home Eurosurveillance Weekly Release  2003: Volume 7/ Issue 40 Article 3
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Eurosurveillance, Volume 7, Issue 40, 02 October 2003

Citation style for this article: New EU ‘zoonoses package’ of legislation to combat foodborne diseases. Euro Surveill. 2003;7(40):pii=2305. Available online:

New EU ‘zoonoses package’ of legislation to combat foodborne diseases

Editorial team (, Eurosurveillance editorial office

The Agriculture Council of the European Commission has this week adopted a ‘zoonoses package’ of legislation aimed at reducing the incidence of foodborne disease in the European Union (1,2). The legislation is made up of two laws, and will come into force when it is published in the Official Journal of the European Union ( at the beginning of November 2003.

The first law is a directive, replacing Directive 92/117/EC (3), on monitoring zoonotic agents. The European Food Safety Authority ( will be instrumental in assessing information on the sources and trends of pathogens. The second law is a regulation to reduce the occurrence of zoonotic agents other than salmonella, and once prevalence of these pathogens in member states has been investigated, targets will be set to reduce them. Salmonella, particularly in poultry products and eggs, has been identified as the priority target. All mandatory control measures will be eligible for European Union (EU) co-financing. EU member states will have to adopt national control programmes and encourage collaboration from the private sector in order to achieve the reduction targets, the first of which will be set in late 2004. Certification of salmonella status will be compulsory for trade between member states and third countries.

Directive 92/117/EC ensured compulsory monitoring of salmonellosis, brucellosis, trichinosis and tuberculosis due to Mycobacterium bovis, and gave rules for voluntary monitoring of other zoonotic agents. Foodborne outbreaks and antimicrobial resistance monitoring were not covered. The new directive will enable harmonisation of such schemes. It will introduce control measures in more types of animal populations, and for more types of salmonella and other zoonotic agents, which means that member states which currently have such measures will be able to receive co-financing.

  1. European Commission. Zoonoses: Commissioner David Byrne welcomes new legislation to combat food-borne diseases such as salmonella. Press release IP/03/1306, 29 September 2003. (|0|RAPID&lg=EN)
  2. Legislation in preparation, some of which can be found at and here: Opinion of the Commission pursuant to Article 251 (2), third subparagraph, point (c) of the EC Treaty, on the European Parliament's amendments to the Council's common position regarding the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the control of salmonella and other specified food-borne zoonotic agents amending the proposal of the Commission pursuant to Article 250 (2) of the EC Treaty. Brussels, 16 July 2003. COM(2003) 434 final, 2001/0177 (COD). (
  3. Council Directive 92/117/EEC of 17 December 1992 concerning measures for protection against specified zoonoses and specified zoonotic agents in animals and products of animal origin in order to prevent outbreaks of food-borne infections and intoxications. Official Journal of the European Communities 1993; L062: 15/03/1993, pp 38-48. (!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=en&numdoc=31992L0117&model=guichett)

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