The European Commission has approved a €147m (US$171.0m) financial package to fight transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) and other animal diseases in the EU in 2004.

The European Union budget will contribute €92.64m to finance the monitoring and eradication of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease) and scrapie in member states and accession countries.

The Commission also adopted funding provisions for the 2004 programmes to eradicate other animal diseases like brucellosis or rabies and prevent zoonoses (diseases transmissible from animals to humans). The EU will contribute €54.29m from its resources in the veterinary field for these programmes, the Commission said.