Schmallenberg Virus Restrictions for Imported Bovine Germplasm from the European Union (EU), or Countries Following EU Legislation
APHIS VS has placed additional restrictions on shipments of ruminant semen and embryos (germplasm) originating from the European Union (EU), and from countries that are not formally part of the EU but which follow EU legislation (see list below). These restrictions became effective February 21, 2012, and were placed to address the emergence of Schmallenberg virus in Europe. The virus, thought to be distributed by flying insects such as midges and possibly mosquitos, is not known to be present in the U.S., and has not been reported to be of human health concern. Infection with the virus causes transient disease in adult cattle, sheep and goats, resulting in production losses; but has also been associated with a high percentage of fetal malformations, abortions, dystocias and death of infected pregnant animals. No treatments or vaccines are currently are available, and testing is currently limited in nature.
Shipments of bovine germplasm collected in EU countries after June 1, 2011 are no longer eligible for importation to the U.S. To be eligible for importation, any consignments of bovine germplasm, originating from the countries listed below must include a statement on the official export health certificate that they were collected prior to June 1, 2011. All other APHIS import requirements continue to apply.
Importations of live ruminants from the EU are currently prohibited due to bovine spongiform encephalopathy there. Sheep and goat semen protocols are currently being negotiated with the EU, and will be revised to include similar restrictions for Schmallenberg virus. Cervid and camelid germplasm shipments are not affected by these additional restrictions for Schmallenberg virus. No restrictions have been placed by APHIS at this time on any ruminant products or by-products.
The countries affected by these restrictions are those currently making up the EU, or which follow EU legislation and allow unrestricted movement of live animals from the EU, and which include the following:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom (including its Crown Dependencies). APHIS' restrictions for Schmallenberg virus will continue until further notice, but may be revised as additional information becomes available.