The initiative was backed by a majority of the participants, who said the defence of the animal’s health inside the EU cannot be genuine without an evaluation and monitoring of the situation existing in its border areas.
Authority chairman Marian Zlotea made the proposal for the setting up of such a working group at the previous meeting of the veterinary service heads held in Prague on April 14-16.
Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, Greece, Austria and Sweden explicitly asked to join Romania in this group and the European Commission proposed that a meeting be organized in order to achieve more efficient coordination.
Romania explained that the reasons behind its proposal included the need for the epidemics situation in the area to be monitored by the member states, the need for the EU states to monitor the decision-making and administrative capability of the veterinary services of non-EU members located at the Black Sea and also the need to monitor the development of certain cross-border diseases such as the African swine flu or the bird flu.
The group called The Black Sea Task Force will take action in close cooperation with the European Commission, the World Health Organization, the World Animal Health Organization and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization on the basis of the European principles for the protection of human and animal health.
The main activities will target an exchange of information, technical assistance, training on the laboratory analyses and diagnosis as well as staging debates on monitoring, controlling and elimination of the animal diseases specific of the area.
A similar structure to include Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, France and Italy will be set up for the Mediterranean, the release said.