Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazkeas held bilateral talks with EU Commissioner for Heath and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis during his official visit to Budapest.

The Minister of Agriculture informed the EU Commissioner that the current avian flu epidemic is more widespread than ever before and that the poultry sector has suffered serious damages; the mitigation of farmers represents a strain on the Hungarian budget and Hungary wishes to make use of the funding opportunities available according to EU law, and hopes to also receive a contribution from the EU budget to help mitigate farmers. Mr. Andriukaitis voiced his acknowledgement of Europe’s animal health measures, including those of Hungary, and expressed his hope that we will also be capable of stopping epidemics with similar efficiency in future. In addition, he indicated with regard to financial funding that, in accordance with previous practices, we can count on the assistance of the European Commission.


The Commissioner said he believed a heightened level of preparedness was required with regard to the fight against bovine lumpy skin disease. Mr. Fazekas indicated that Hungary is ready to provide assistance to neighbouring countries in the form of vaccines, and to vaccinate cattle in Hungary as required. Mr. Andriukaitis welcomed Hungary’s preparations and indicated that the EU believes high-level discussions are also required in future with regard to the disease.

Mr. Andriukaitis called for effective joint action on the part of the affected EU Member States with regard to measures to combat African swine fever in Ukraine. Mr. Fazekas told the EU Commissioner that Hungary has introduced new protective measures in addition to the existing ones in the interests of preventing the spread of the disease.

The parties agreed that combatting food waste is a key issue. This requires, amongst others, increased public awareness and close cooperation with the involved private sector participants. Further important measures include simplifying the conditions for donating food and/or using waste food as animal feed.

The Commission and Hungary continue to support the adoption of EU regulations that permit the banning of genetically modifies foods and feeds at a national level. Mr. Fazekas explained that assuring Member States’ right to self-determination is also important with respect to this topic.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)