Example — Dairy Products and Foot and Mouth Disease
In 1994, the Scientific Veterinary Committee (Animal Health) of the European Commission (EC) published a document considering the heat treatment of milk originating from foot and mouth disease (FMD) affected areas. The publication recommended specific heat treatments that could be applied to potentially infected milk to destroy the FMD virus.
The recommendations were subsequently incorporated into EC legislation. The EC accepted imports of dairy products from countries that had experienced outbreaks of FMD, provided the milk had been subjected to one of the specified heat treatments.
New Zealand operated a policy of only accepting dairy products from countries that had been free from FMD for at least 12 months.
During negotiations on a New Zealand/EC veterinary agreement in 1996, it was agreed that New Zealand would undertake a risk analysis of dairy products and that the EC would provide information to support their position on accepting dairy products from countries with FMD. New Zealand completed the risk analysis in early 1998 and adopted a similar position to the EC. As a result, New Zealand was able to recognise the relevant EC legislation as being equivalent to New Zealand standards.
Interestingly, the OIE also considered the same information and subsequently adopted the heat treatments recommended by the EC as part of the OIE International Animal Health Code.