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Riis-Johansen in talks with Commissioner Kyprianou

Animal welfare, animal health, GMOs and Avian Influenza were issues discussed when the Norwegian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Terje Riis-Johansen, met the Commissioner of Health and Consumer Protection, Markos Kyprianou in Brussels Tuesday, 28 February.

14/03/2006 :: Because of the verified outbreak of Avian Influenza in several EU countries recently, much of the focus was directed towards this issue. Minister Riis-Johansen described the meeting as interesting and successful.
Both the EU and Norway work hard to be as prepared as possible for handling the animal disease in Europe and assist UN in combating it in the rest of the world. In the meeting Riis-Johansen and Kyprianou updated each other on the situation and exchanged information on how the decease can best be prevented and fought. Norway has contributed with about 6,25 million Euro (50 million NOK) through the UN to the prevention of bird flu. In addition, Norway contributes with four national experts at EU level. Commissioner Kyprianou expressed his appreciation of the Norwegian co-operation with the EU in the fight against the spread of Avian Influenza.
Furthermore, Riis-Johansen presented the idea of the possibility of spending some of the funding through the EEA Financial Mechanisms on the prevention of Avian Influenza. However, it will be up to the individual recipient countries to apply for funding.
Among other issues discussed in the talks with the Cypriot Commissioner was the newly proposed Animal Welfare action Plan, a comprehensive reform on Animal welfare. Riis-Johansen discussed EUs work in light of Norway’s national policies on this issue. Norway is known for having a high level of Animal welfare and good expertise in this field.
Terje Riis-Johansen invited Markos Kyprianou to Norway to continue the fruitful co-operation between Norway and the EU on these issues. The invitation was well received.
(Published 06.03.06)

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Photo: Unni Claussen