CONTINGENCY PLANS AND REAL TIME ALERT EXERCISES
Article 72 - Contingency plans
1. Member States shall draw up a contingency plan specifying the national measures required to maintain a high level of foot-and-mouth disease awareness and preparedness, and environmental protection and to be implemented in the event of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
2. The contingency plan shall provide for the access to all facilities, equipment, personnel and other appropriate materials necessary for the rapid and efficient eradication of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, it shall ensure coordination with neighbouring Member States and encourage cooperation with neighbouring third countries.
3. The contingency plan shall provide for measures to be implemented in the event of a worst case scenario as referred to in point 12 of Annex XVII and shall give indications of:
(a) the vaccine requirements considered necessary in the event of emergency vaccination, and
(b) the regions containing densely populated livestock areas, taking into account the criteria set down in Annex X.
4. The contingency plan shall ensure that all necessary arrangements are made to prevent any avoidable damage to the environment in the event of an outbreak, while ensuring at the same time the highest disease control level, and minimise any damage caused as a result of an outbreak, in particular if it is necessary to bury or burn the carcasses of dead or killed animals on site.
5. The criteria and requirements for drawing up the contingency plan shall be those set out in Annex XVII. Those criteria and requirements may be amended taking into account the specific nature of foot-and-mouth disease and progress made in the development of disease control and environmental protection measures in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 89(2).
6. The Commission shall examine the contingency plans in order to determine whether they permit the objective provided for in paragraph 1 to be attained and shall suggest to the Member State concerned any amendments required, in particular to ensure that such plans are compatible with those of the other Member States.
7. The contingency plans shall be approved in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 89(2).
8. Member States shall ensure that significant modifications in their approved contingency plans are notified to the Commission without delay.
9. The revised contingency plans may subsequently be approved in accordance with the procedure referred to in
Article 89(2), to take into account developments in the situation.
10. In any case, every five years each Member State shall update its contingency plan in particular in the light of realtime alert exercises referred to in Article 73, and submit it to the Commission for approval in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 89(2).
Article 73 - Real-time alert exercises
1. Member States shall ensure that real-time alert exercises are carried out in accordance with their approved contingency plan and Annex
2. Member States shall ensure that, where possible and practical, real-time alert exercises are carried out in close collaboration with the competent authorities of neighbouring Member States or third countries.
3. Member States shall inform the Commission about the main results of real-time alert exercises. That information shall be submitted to the Commission as part of the information required in Article 8 of Directive 64/432/EEC.
ANNEX XVII - CRITERIA AND REQUIREMENTS FOR CONTINGENCY
Member States shall ensure that contingency plans meet at least the following requirements:
1. Provision shall be made to ensure the legal powers necessary for the implementation of contingency
plans and allow for a rapid and successful eradication campaign.
2. Provision must be made to ensure access to emergency funds, budgetary means and financial resources
in order to cover all aspects of the fight against a foot-and-mouth disease epizootic.
3. A chain of command shall be established guaranteeing a rapid and effective decision-making process
for dealing with foot-and-mouth disease epizootics. A central decision-making unit shall be in charge
of the overall direction of control strategies and the chief veterinary officer shall be a member of this
4. Each Member State must be prepared to immediately establish a functional national disease control
centre in the event of an outbreak, which shall coordinate the implementation of all decisions taken in
the central decision-making unit. A permanently operational coordinator shall be appointed to
guarantee the prompt establishment of the centre.
5. Detailed plans shall be available to enable a Member State to be prepared for the immediate
establishment of local disease control centres in the event of foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in order
to implement disease control and environment protection measures at a local level.
6. Member States shall ensure the cooperation between the national disease control centre, the local
disease control centres and environmental competent authorities and bodies in order to ensure that
actions on veterinary and environmental safety issues are appropriately coordinated.
7. A permanently operational expert group shall be created, where necessary in collaboration with other
Member States, to maintain expertise and assist the relevant authority in qualitative disease preparedness.
8. Provision must be made for adequate resources to ensure a rapid and effective campaign, including
personnel, equipment and laboratory capacity.
9. An up-to-date operations manual shall be available. It shall describe in detail and in a comprehensive
and practical way all the actions procedures, instructions and control measures to be employed in
handling an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
10. Detailed plans shall be available for emergency vaccination.
11. Staff shall be regularly involved in:
11.1. training in clinical signs, epidemiological enquiry and control of epizootic diseases;
11.2. real-time alert exercises, conducted as follows:
11.2.1. two times within a five years period, the first of which should not have started later than 3 years after
the approval of the plan, or
11.2.2. during the five years period after an outbreak of a major epizootic disease has been effectively controlled
and eradicated, or
11.2.3. one of the two exercises referred to in paragraph 11.2.1 is replaced by a real-time exercise required
within the framework of contingency plans for other major epidemic diseases affecting terrestrial
animals, or11.2.4. by way of derogation from paragraph 11.2.1 and subject to appropriate provisions in the contingency
plan, Member States with a limited population of animals of susceptible species arrange for the
participation in and contribution to real-time exercises carried out in a neighbouring Member States
and alarm-drills are carried out as provided for in paragraph (g) (ii) of Annex VII of Directive 2001/89/
EC in relation to all animals of species susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease.
11.3. Training in communication skills to provide ongoing disease awareness campaigns for authorities,
farmers and veterinarians.
12. Contingency Plans shall be prepared taking into account the resources needed to control a large number
of outbreaks occurring within a short time and caused by several antigenically distinct serotypes or
strains as it may be necessary amongst others in the case of deliberate release of foot-and-mouth disease
13. Without prejudice to veterinary requirements, contingency plans shall be prepared with a view to
ensuring that in the event of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, any mass disposal of animal
carcasses and animal waste is done without endangering human health and without using processes or
methods which prevent any avoidable damage to the environment and in particular:
(i) with a minimum risk to soil, air, surface and groundwater, to plants and animals,
(ii) with a minimum nuisance through noise or odours,
(iii) with a minimum adverse effect to the countryside or places of special interest.
14. Such plans shall include the identification of appropriate sites and undertakings for the treatment or
disposal of animal carcasses and animal waste in the event of an outbreak.
15. Member State shall ensure that farmers, the rural populace and the population in general are kept
informed. Direct and accessible contact shall be provided for the inhabitants of affected areas (inter alia
via helplines), as well as information through the national and regional media.