Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
Regulation (EC) No 998/2003(1) of the European Parliament and of the Council provides that the United Kingdom (‘the UK’), that claims freedom from the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis (‘EM’), may make the entry of pet animals into its territory subject to compliance with its national rules that were in force on 3 July 2003. This is a transitional measure that is due to expire on 31 December 2011.
However, Regulation (EU) No 438/2010(2) amending Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 provides that the Commission may adopt, by means of delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, preventive health measures for the control of diseases other than rabies, provided that they are scientifically justified and proportionate to the risk of spreading such diseases due to the movement of pet animals.
In this legal context and on the basis of supporting documentation provided by some Member States, the Commission has started preparatory work in view of a possible delegated act on preventive health measures for the control of EM infection in dogs that would apply from 1 January 2012. This work involves the consultation of experts from the Member States and is still ongoing.