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EU Raises BSE Cattle Testing Age to 48 Months

15 October 2008

UK - EU animal health experts have raised the minimum age for testing cattle for mad cow disease in the EU's 15 'older' countries to 48 months, given fewer cases of the brain-wasting virus, the EU executive said on Tuesday.

At present, all healthy slaughtered cattle aged above 30 months and all cattle above 24 months deemed to be at risk of catching bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) must be tested.

Experts have now agreed that the new age limit for BSE testing of healthy slaughtered and at-risk cattle will be 48 months, the European Commission said in a statement.

Assuming a green light from the European Parliament, that revised rule should come into effect in January 2009.

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