Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Mad-cow countries can sell us their beef

by: EXCLUSIVE - NATASHA BITA From: News Limited Network February 14, 2013 12:00AM

AUSTRALIA has reopened the door to beef imports from Europe, a decade after banning meat from countries with a history of mad cow disease.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand has ruled that consumers face a "negligible" risk of catching brain-wasting disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from eating Croatian or Dutch beef.

"FSANZ completed BSE food safety risk assessments for these countries and concluded that the BSE risk posed to consumers from the export of beef products from these countries is negligible," Food Standards said in a statement.

"While meat from these countries can be imported, there are import certification requirements in place and in the case of Croatia, more stringent requirements."

The official green light ends a decade-long import ban on fresh or frozen beef from Europe.

New Zealand and Vanuatu - both BSE-free - have been the only countries allowed to sell beef in Australia.

Butchers and supermarkets will have to label all meat with the country of origin, under new Federal Government labelling laws to take force in July.

But restaurants and takeaway food outlets are exempt, so diners will not know if they are eating Australian or imported meat.

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department yesterday said it had not yet issued any beef import permits from Croatia or The Netherlands.

"The new arrangements ... are yet to take effect with respect to issuing new import permits," it said in a statement.

Liberal senator Bill Heffernan - a farmer who chairs the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs References Committee - yesterday called on the Federal Government to "err on the side of caution".

"I don't think Australia should accept beef from anywhere that's had a BSE outbreak, simple as that," he said.

"There's no such thing as a BSE-free herd or zone because there is no live test for the disease, and the human variant (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease) can incubate for 30 years."

But Cattle Council of Australia chief executive Jed Matz yesterday said the import approval did not bother Australia's cattle farmers.

"We're supporters of free trade," he said.

"If they're safe then we welcome their imports. I don't think there would be a very large amount of meat being imported from those two countries so I wouldn't be concerned."

Eight other countries, including Mexico, Turkey, Brazil and Lithuania, have lined up to seek Food Standards approval to sell their beef in Australia.

The United States has put its application on hold.

Australia has never had a case of BSE, a brain-wasting disease in cattle that can infect people who eat contaminated beef.

The Food Standards assessment of the Dutch application found 88 cases of BSE had been detected in The Netherlands since 1997.

It rated The Netherlands as having a "negligible BSE risk".

Food Standards found that no cases of BSE have been confirmed in Croatia to date, and rated the country as a "controlled BSE risk".

Report on the assessment of the Geographical BSE-risk of Croatia June 2002


4.1 Interaction of stability and challenges

In conclusion, the stability of the Croatian BSE/cattle system in the past and the external challenges the system has coped with are summarised in the table below. From the interaction of the two parameters "stability" and "external challenge" a conclusion is drawn on the level of "internal challenge" that emerged and had to be met by the system, in addition to external challenges that occurred.

Before 1991, the former Yugoslavia faced a high external challenge. The stability of the system cannot be assessed, as no data are available. However, it is reasonable that the system was similar to the one found in Croatia in 1992, i.e. extremely unstable. This implies a significant risk that the BSE-agent, should it have been introduced into the country at that time, would have entered the BSE/cattle system of the country.

It is clear, from the available data, that since 1992, Croatia faced a high external challenge mainly due to imports of MBM. Cattle were continuously imported since 1992, probably to re-stock the national herd and for human consumption. If some of these imported cattle were infected with BSE prior to export, they could have entered the Croatian BSE/cattle system around 1995, while the system was still extremely unstable. Between 1995 and 2000, the external challenge faced by Croatia was very high, mainly due to MBMimports. At this time the system was still extremely unstable. Since 2001, the system is very stable.

The combination of significant external challenges with an extremely unstable system makes the occurrence of an internal challenge likely since 1992 but probably already earlier. Today, it is more unlikely that BSE infectivity is recycled and, if the efficiency of the measures in place could be demonstrated, any existing internal challenge should decrease at the rate by which cattle born before these measures were effective leave the system. If the measures in place since January 2001 are well implemented the internal challenge will decrease rather fast.

4.2 Risk that BSE infectivity entered processing

There is a certain risk that BSE infectivity entered processing in the territory of Croatia when it was still a part of former Yugoslavia. After the independence of the country, it is likely that BSE infectivity entered the country via cattle or MBM imports. Around 1995 potentially infected cattle could have been slaughtered that were imported in 1992. This processing risk increased around 1997, i.e. about 3 years after the first significant imports of potentially contaminated MBM occurred, that could have lead to infection of domestic cattle in the year of import (1994). It continued to grow thereafter because MBM imports from BSE-risk countries continued. In addition it is likely that since 1995 at the latest also domestic MBM was contaminated with the agent. As feeding was “not OK”, the agent probably reached domestic cattle, leading to new infections until end 2000. Hence the processing risk will continue to exist as long as cattle that could potentially have been exposed to the agent, are processed. The risk continues to increase, at a reduced pace, until the birth cohorts 2001 and later reach processing.

4.3 Risk that BSE infectivity was recycled and propagated

Given that the system was extremely unstable and a processing risk may have existed in Croatia since some time but since the mid-90s at the latest, it is very likely that the BSEagent was recycled, propagated and amplified in the country. Since 1997 the recycling was somewhat reduced, thanks to the improved rendering but a propagation risk continued to exist. In 1/1/2001 measures were taken that should have interrupted recycling of the BSE-agent. The efficiency of these measures is not well documented but subject to confirmation it is regarded unlikely that further propagation of the disease occurs after beginning of 2001.


5.1 The current GBR as function of the past stability and challenge

The current geographical BSE-risk (GBR) level is III, i.e. it is likely but not confirmed that domestic cattle are (clinically or pre-clinically) infected with the BSE-agent.

5.2 The expected development of the GBR as a function of the past and present stability and challenge

§ From the very stable system (subject to confirmation of the efficiency of the measures taken in 2000/2001), it follows that the GBR decreases fast.

5.3 Recommendations for influencing the future GBR

§ It is essential that the recently taken stability enhancing measures are correctly applied and their implementation is controlled and documented.

§ Improved passive and active surveillance, i.e. sampling of animals not recognised as BSE-suspects from “at-risk” cattle populations, such as adult cattle in fallen stock and emergency slaughter, would allow monitoring the efficiency of the stability enhancing measures.


Scientific Steering Committee – Opinion on the GBR of CROATIA June 2002

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Opinion of the Scientific Steering Committee on the GEOGRAPHICAL RISK OF BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY (GBR) in Croatia –2002


The Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) was asked by the Commission to provide an up-to-date scientific opinion on the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR), i.e. the likelihood of the presence of one or more cattle being infected with BSE, pre-clinically as well as clinically, in countries that have formally requested the determination of their BSE status in accordance with Article 5 of the Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

This opinion addresses the up-to-date GBR of Croatia as assessed in June 2002.


The BSE agent was probably already introduced to the Croatian territory before its independence and Croatia was exposed to significant external challenges since 1992. As the Croatian BSE/cattle system was extremely unstable it is likely that the BSE-agent was recycled, propagated and amplified in the country. Even if since 1997 the recycling was somewhat reduced, thanks to the improved rendering, it is concluded that it is likely but not confirmed that one or more domestic cattle in Croatia are (clinically or pre-clinically) infected with the BSE-agent (GBR-III).

The SSC is aware that the available information was not confirmed by inspection missions as they are performed by the FVO in the Member States. It recommends that BSE-related aspects are included in the program of future inspection missions, as far as feasible.


of live cattle and MBM from BSE risk countries. The proportion of these imports that remained in Croatia is not known and therefore as a realistic worst case assumption, it is assumed that the external challenge experienced by the territory of Croatia before 1992 was high enough to make it possible that the BSE-agent could have been introduced.

The level of the external challenge that has to be met by the Croatian BSE/cattle system since 1992 is estimated according to the guidance given by the SSC in its final opinion on the GBR of July 2000, as updated in January 2002.

Live cattle imports: From 1992 to 2000 the country imported 577,310 live cattle from BSE risk countries, of which none came from the UK. These imports represent a high external challenge but not an extremely high external challenge because a significant fraction was slaughtered at very young age. Broken down to shorter periods the resulting external challenge moderate from 1992 to 1995 and high thereafter. This assessment takes into account aspects that allow assuming that certain imported cattle did not enter the domestic BSE/cattle system, i.e. were not rendered into feed or were very young when slaughtered.

MBM imports: From 1992 to 2000 the country imported 12,654 tons MBM from BSE risk countries, of which nothing came from the UK. Together these imports represent a very high external challenge. Broken down to shorter periods the resulting external challenge was high for the period 1992-1995 and very high thereafter. This assessment takes into different aspects that allow assuming that a certain fraction of the imported MBM could not have entered the domestic BSE/cattle system.


On the basis of the available information it was concluded that the country’s BSE/cattle system was extremely unstable between 1992 and 2000 and is, subject to confirmation of the efficiency of the then introduced measures, very stable since 2001. For the period before the independence of Croatia, a reasonable worst case assumption is that the stability was similar to the situation in Croatia after 1992.


Until March 1997 feeding of any kind of MBM to cattle was legally possible. Since then a ruminant to ruminant ban was installed but non-ruminant mammalian MBM could still be fed to cattle until 2001. As no data were provided on the controls of the RMBM-feed ban and crosscontamination is regarded likely, it is concluded that feeding was “not OK” before and after the feed ban of 1997. In 2001, a recall action was carried out and the available MBM (imported and domestic) was bought by the government in order to be incinerated. However, as it is not fully clear how effective this measure was and cross-contamination in feed mills, during transport and

Scientific Steering Committee – Opinion on the GBR of CROATIA June 2002

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on farm remained possible, feeding is regarded as “reasonably OK” since 1/1/2001 until it is shown that no MBM is anymore present in the system.


Since 1996, the only plant that was processing fallen bovine stock has complied with the operating standards required. But the “closed” plant, which is linked to a slaughterhouse and produces MBM from cattle material from its own abattoirs and cutting plants, continued to operate under unknown conditions. Most likely it also processed SRM that were included in the normal slaughter waste. Rendering has therefore been “not OK” up to end 2000. Since January 2001, bovine animal waste, including SRM and all fallen stock, is to be incinerated or otherwise disposed. Subject to confirmation of the efficiency of this measure, rendering is assessed as “OK” since January 2001.


Between 1980 and 2001 brain and spinal cord of cattle and bovine fallen stock were rendered. There was no SRM ban before 1997 and the SRM ban between 1997 and 2001 prohibited the use of SRM for human consumption only, probably increasing the amount of SRM that was rendered for feed. Therefore, SRM removal is regarded as “not OK” until end 2000, when an SRM ban for cattle feed was implemented. Subject to confirmation of the efficiency of this measure, SRMremoval is therefore assessed as “OK” since January 2001.

BSE surveillance

Before 1996 BSE surveillance did not exist. It was only passive thereafter and the number of BSE suspects remained low. Active BSE surveillance is in place since 2001. However, the number of animals tested is still too low to exclude a certain BSE-incidence, and data on age and risk category of tested animals, which would allow to better judge the validity of available test results, were lacking.


The Croatian BSE/cattle system was extremely unstable and exposed to sizeable external challenges. A processing risk therefore may have existed in Croatia since the mid-90s at the latest and the BSE-agent was very likely recycled, propagated and amplified in the country. Since 1997 the recycling was somewhat reduced, thanks to the improved rendering but a propagation risk continued to exist. Therefore, it is concluded that it is likely but not confirmed that domestic cattle in Croatia are (clinically or pre-clinically) infected with the BSE-agent (GBR-III).


They concluded that it is likely that BSE is present in the cattle herds of Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, San Marino and Turkey, although this is not yet confirmed (GBR level III).

Report on the assessment of the Geographical BSE-risk of THE NETHERLANDS July 2000

Report on the assessment of the Geographical BSE-risk of THE NETHERLANDS July 2000 - 47 -


5.1 The current GBR The current geographical BSE-risk (GBR) level is III, i.e. BSE is confirmed in domestic cattle at a lower level.

However, the observed incidence of clinical cases over the period 1/3/99 to 29/2/2000 was 0.5 per 1 Million adult cattle. This figure is generated by a passive surveillance system that is not able to identify all clinical cases.

Netherlands BSE CASES

2001 20

2002 24

2003 19

2004 6


BSE Situation in the world and annual incidence rate Number of cases reported: In the UK Worldwide (excluding UK) Cases in imported animals only Annual incidence rate

Number of reported cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in farmed cattle worldwide* (excluding the United Kingdom)



Short communication

Analyzing BSE surveillance in low prevalence countries

§ Mark Powell a,*, Aaron Scott b, Eric Ebel b aU.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Rm. 4032 (MS 3811), Washington, DC 20250, United States bU.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building B, Mail Stop 2E7, Fort Collins, CO 80526, United States Received 10 May 2007; received in revised form 24 August 2007; accepted 21 September 2007


An important implication of the diminished statistical power of sampling in low prevalence populations is that BSE surveillance data alone are unlikely to provide a purely statistical basis for making a determination about the date when a ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban becomes effective in a low BSE prevalence country. For example, despite the presence of a large-scale active BSE surveillance program, application of the BSurvE model to Netherlands BSE surveillance data suggests the difficulty of drawing clear distinctions in prevalence among birth year cohorts (Heres et al., 2005, Appendix Table 4.1). As a point of reference, according to the OIE, the Netherlands had an annual incidence of reported BSE cases ranging from 0.8 to 13.2 per million adult cattle during 1997–2005 ( Among the original 15 EU member states, only Finland, Greece, and Sweden had a lower incidence of BSE cases (0 per million) reported to OIE in 2005 than the Netherlands (0.8 per million).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Potential mad cows that entered food supply without being tested for BSE 2011: UK END OF YEAR REVIEW

Thursday, September 6, 2012

UK Breaches of BSE controls in consignments of beef 2011 communications missing four reports

Friday, December 21, 2012

Four BSE cases with an L-BSE molecular profile in cattle from Great Britain Veterinary Record doi:10.1136/vr.101158 Paper

Friday, November 30, 2012



Euro Quality Lambs Ltd is recalling its lambs’ brains, which have entered the food chain without being inspected properly. The Food Standards Agency is asking all local authority enforcement officers to ensure that the product is withdrawn from sale and destroyed. The Agency has issued a Food Alert for Action.

North Cumbrian farmer broke mad cow disease regulations

By Phil Coleman

Last updated at 12:27, Saturday, 19 January 2013

A judge wants to see evidence of a farmer’s finances before deciding how much he should be fined for flouting regulations designed to prevent beef infected with mad cow disease getting into the human food chain. At Carlisle Crown Court, David Holmes, 52, who kept cattle at four locations – including Crook Farm at Roadhead, north of Carlisle – pleaded guilty to 30 offences. The court heard how he repeatedly failed to notify the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) that he was moving cattle between different locations. Some of the cattle – including some older animals banned from sale because of the risk from BSE – disappeared without trace. The offences included failing to keep a proper register of his herds, using an ear tag on a cow that previously identified another animal, and furnishing misleading information about cattle to the authorities. Judge Peter Davies said he wanted to see evidence of Holmes’ financial affairs before deciding on the level of fine and court costs. He said: “This is a continuous pattern between 2009 and 2011 of deliberately deceiving the authorities to ensure that cattle of either no or little monetary value could not be traced.” He added that he would not, however, impose a custodial sentence for the offences, noting that there was no evidence of actual harm to humans. Holmes has previous convictions dating back to the 1980s, which include a number of animal cruelty offences. Prosecutor Howard Shaw told the court that Holmes, now living at Nutholm Farm, Lockerbie, had breached regulations which were brought in following an outbreak of BSE – so called mad cow disease. The intention was to ensure that all cattle born before 1996 – which have little monetary value – at no point enter the human food chain. The first three offences he admitted related to three animals – one born before 1996 – moved from Crook Farm. Mr Shaw said: “They have quite simply disappeared.” Andrew Scott, for Holmes, said the company run by Holmes – D&A Livestock Limited – no longer existed. He will be sentenced at the crown court in Carlisle on January 25. First published at 11:08, Saturday, 19 January 2013 Published by

Thursday, January 17, 2013

FSA notified of two breaches of BSE testing regulations 14 January 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

APHIS USDA Letter to Stakeholders: Trade Accomplishments and failures (BSE, SCRAPIE, TSE, PRION, AKA MAD COW TYPE DISEASE)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Japan may relax US Mad Cow BSE beef import rules in Feb 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announce Agreement to Further Open Japan’s Market to U.S. Beef

Monday, January 28, 2013

Brazil MAD COW BSE ban to stay

Friday, December 07, 2012


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Scientific Report of the European Food Safety Authority on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE Risk (GBR) of Brazil

Friday, February 8, 2013

Brazil using USDA BSE mad cow SSS policy FINAL UPDATE O.I.E.

> having been buried on the farm where it died

Monday, January 14, 2013

Gambetti et al USA Prion Unit change another highly suspect USA mad cow victim to another fake name i.e. sporadic FFI at age 16 CJD Foundation goes along with this BSe

Monday, December 31, 2012

Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease and Human TSE Prion Disease in Washington State, 2006–2011-2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Canada, U.S. agree on animal-disease measures to protect trade, while reducing human and animal health protection

IT is of my opinion, that the OIE and the USDA et al, are the soul reason, and responsible parties, for Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE prion diseases, including typical and atypical BSE, typical and atypical Scrapie, and all strains of CWD, and human TSE there from, spreading around the globe.

I have lost all confidence of this organization as a regulatory authority on animal disease, and consider it nothing more than a National Trading Brokerage for all strains of animal TSE, just to satisfy there commodity. AS i said before, OIE should hang up there jock strap now, since it appears they will buckle every time a country makes some political hay about trade protocol, commodities and futures. IF they are not going to be science based, they should do everyone a favor and dissolve there organization.

JUST because of low documented human body count with nvCJD and the long incubation periods, the lack of sound science being replaced by political and corporate science in relations with the fact that science has now linked some sporadic CJD with atypical BSE and atypical scrapie, and the very real threat of CWD being zoonosis, I believed the O.I.E. has failed terribly and again, I call for this organization to be dissolved. ...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

O.I.E. BSE, CWD, SCRAPIE, TSE PRION DISEASE Final Report of the 80th General Session, 20 - 25 May 2012


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