Press release of December 15, 2004       

Preventive mass killing of healthy animals as a means to fight animal diseases is no longer acceptable to the public. There is no need and no social support for it anymore. This is the issue the Dutch smallholders will present at the EU conference on animal disease control on December 15 and 16, in Brussels.

During the large scale outbreaks of Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth Disease and Avian Influenza in the Netherlands, smallholders were, wrongfully, treated similarly to the commercial holdings. As a result hundreds of thousands of healthy animals were killed/destroyed and tens of thousands of smallholders were struck.
When we consider animal disease control, we must take into account the importance of this large group of smallholders that outnumbers the commercial holdings by far. Representatives of the Dutch smallholders will plea in Brussels for differentiation of disease control without having to consider economic interest where smallholders are concerned. The issues for animal disease control concerning smallholders should be:
a realistic estimate of veterinary risks, respect for life itself and for the relationship between man and animals, and the importance of genetic variety and biodiversity.

Because of the way animals of smallholders are kept there is hardly any risk of infection and of spreading the disease. As was proven in the past years. And if there are any risks these can be controlled by stand still and vaccination. According to the  Dutch smallholders this is the only way we can get animal disease control socially accepted in the future.

In Brussels the Dutch smallholders will be represented by Paula Polman, Geesje Kuit  and Sible Westendorp.
Poster flyer EU, def.pdf

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