An update of EU rules on vaccination against bluetongue disease was approved by Parliament on Thursday, to allow the use of more effective vaccines and reduce red tape for farmers.
With a view to the summer, when a bluetongue outbreak is likeliest, MEPs backed European Commission proposals to allow the use of newly-available "inactivated vaccines". Unlike the live attenuated vaccines currently in use, inactivated ones pose no virus transmission risk.
Since the early 2000s, bluetongue disease has killed many cattle, sheep and goats in several EU Member States, inflicting substantial losses on livestock farmers.
A first-reading agreement between Parliament and Council on this issue is being held up by a dispute over the technical but very relevant issue of whether legislation should provide for "correlation tables", which can be used to monitor the transposition of EU rules into national laws.
The update was approved with 587 votes in favour, 1 against and 19 abstentions.
Procedure: Codecision (1st reading)