The EU must take coordinated action to stop the spread of the Schmallenberg virus and to reassure the public and its trading partners, MEPs insisted in a debate on Thursday morning. Many speakers also criticised restrictions imposed by Russia and other countries on imports of EU live animals and meat in response to the outbreak as "unjustified" and called for their removal.
The Commission must facilitate proper exchange of information, provide data to EU Member States and speed up research on vaccines, MEPs said. Some speakers also suggested that farmers affected by the virus should receive compensation.
The Schmallenberg virus, which causes congenital malformations in cattle, sheep and goats, has affected more than 1,200 farms so far in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, the UK, Italy and Luxembourg.
Watch the video of the debate (link on the right).