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Update on the EU BSE Situation in 2007

19 September 2008

EU - BSE cases in cattle in most EU Member States (MS) almost halved again in 2007 and no new cases were registered in 14 of the 27 MS. Hence, the EC updated its work program for the TSE Roadmap in November of 2007.

According to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, many EU MS are looking for ways to lower the cost of BSE monitoring. Measures could range from changing BSE monitoring to a risk-based system, increasing the age for Specified Risk Material (SRM) removal to reviewing the strict EU ban on all animal protein in feed for all animal species.

In its “Report on the monitoring and testing of ruminants for the presence of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) in the EU in 2007,” the European Commission (EC) announced another 46 percent decrease in BSE cases detected in cattle throughout the EU- 27. This is the fifth consecutive year in which BSE cases are halved in most EU Member States (MS) after the last BSE crisis in 2002.

The EC also highlights that 14 MS had no new cases in 2007, while only Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom still find significant numbers of BSE cases. The monitoring of TSE’s in small ruminants is still intensifying, as new cases of atypical TSE/BSE in sheep continue to challenge scientists.

As BSE incidences in many MS are becoming insignificant, MS want to change their BSE monitoring programs from actively testing all cattle over 30 months of age at slaughter to a risk-based monitoring program. This should considerably lower the expense of BSE monitoring.

The increasing cost of feed is also slowly putting the EU’s strict total ban on animal protein in all animal feeds, with the exception of petfood, back on the table for discussion. However, the lack of an analysis method that is able to identify animal protein from different species remains an obstacle.

TheCattleSite News Desk


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