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Assessment of the control measures of the Category A diseases of the Animal Health Law: prohibitions in restricted zones and risk‐mitigating treatments for products of animal origin and other materials

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EFSA received a mandate from the European Commission to assess the effectiveness of prohibitions of certain activities in restricted zones, and of certain risk mitigation treatments for products of animal origin and other materials with respect to diseases included in the Category A list in the Animal Health Law (Regulation (EU) 2016/429). This opinion belongs to a series of opinions where other disease‐specific control measures have been assessed. In this opinion, EFSA and the AHAW Panel of experts review the effectiveness of (i) prohibiting the movements of certain products, notably germinal products (semen, oocytes, embryos and hatching eggs), products of animal origin and animal by‐products and feed of plant origin, hay and straw, and (ii) risk mitigation treatments for products of animal origin. In terms of semen, oocytes, embryos and hatching eggs, it was agreed that there was a lack of evidence particularly for embryos and oocytes reflected in a varying degree of uncertainty, whether these commodities could potentially contain the pathogen under consideration. The scenario assessed did not consider whether the presence of pathogen would lead to infection in the recipient animal. In terms of animal products, certain animal by‐products and movement of feed of plant origin and straw, the assessment considered the ability of the commodity to transmit disease to another animal if exposed. For most pathogens, products were to some degree considered a risk, but lack of field evidence contributed to the uncertainty, particularly as potential exposure of ruminants to meat products is concerned. In terms of the risk mitigating treatments, recommendations have been made for several of these treatments, because the treatment description is not complete, the evidence is poor or inconclusive, or the evidence points to the treatment being ineffective.

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