Football fans travelling to South Korea for the World Cup matches must not bring back any food and take care if staying in the countryside, says EU Commissioner David Byrne.

South Korea has recently reported a number of outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD) and the South Korean Government has put all necessary controls in place to contain the disease. Imports of animal and animal products from South Korea are not allowed into the EU.

However, Commissioner David Byrne, responsible for Health and Consumer Protection, reminded football fans and national authorities to be vigilant: “We are just recovering from a most traumatic period last year when the European Union, especially the United Kingdom, suffered from a major FMD outbreak. We have to do everything possible to avoid the disease being brought back to Europe again. The damage caused by last year’s outbreak was immense, not only in financial terms but also in the loss of prized herds and the damage to tourism in the affected areas”.

The Commissioner added, “I cannot overemphasise the need to observe the rules. They are simple and straightforward. We must be sure that the World Cup in South Korea is not remembered for the wrong reasons.”

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