Mad Cow Disease Nearing Eradication: EU

by Rathi Manohar on July 17, 2010 at 4:58 PM
Mad Cow Disease Nearing Eradication: EU

Mad Cow disease has been nearly eradicated, EU's executive claimed, at a discussion of a proposal to end systematic killing of entire herds with one sick cow.

"The European Union has made great progress in its battle against BSE and we are finally on the brink of eradicating the disease within the Union," said European Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli.


Fears that madcow was linked to a brain-wasting disease among humans who ate tainted beef sparked a panic in the 1990s and a decade-long EU ban on beef from Britain, the epicentre of the outbreak.

Europe took drastic measures to curb the disease.

When a cow tests positive for madcow, all cattle born in the 12 months before or after the birth of the sick cow are killed, as well as those that may have consumed the same contaminated food.

The European Commission said it was time to end such measures in a proposal submitted to the European Council and the European Parliament.

The commission said the "systematic cohort culling of cattle could be stopped" because of the dramatic drop in cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Animals from herds in which a cow suffered from the disease could also be sold for consumption as long as they test negative before entering the food chain, it said.

The commission also proposed to relax a ban on animal protein used in pig and poultry feed that was imposed in 2001. This would allow pig meal to be fed to poultry and poultry meal to pigs.

But it would maintain a prohibition on "intra species recycling": the feeding of pig meal to pigs or poultry meal to poultry.

The EU executive also wants to keep a ban on feeding animal protein to animals that are supposed to feed on grass, such as cows.

More than 190,000 cases of madcow disease have been detected in the EU since it was first diagnosed in Britain in 1986, forcing the destruction of millions of cows.

The EU slapped a total ban on exports of British live cattle in March 1996 at the height of the mad cow crisis, after London reported a link with a new form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, connected with eating BSE-tainted beef.

The EU lifted the ban on British beef in 2006.

Only 67 positive cases of madcow disease were identified last year and the animals were old cows that could have been contaminated long ago, the commission said.

The European farmers group Copa-Cogeca welcomed the commission's proposal but also asked the EU executive to raise the minimum testing age for madcow disease to reduce the number of tests in the EU.

It also said it was "happy" about the plans to lift restrictions on animal protein for non-rumminants.

"Copa-Cogeca calls on the Belgian Presidency (of the EU) to make urgent progress on this in the coming months," said Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen.

Source: AFP
Font : A-A+



Latest Environmental Health

Climate Change Drives Bat Expansion and Rabies Risk in the US
A new study links vampire bats' range expansion to climate shifts and potential implications for rabies transmission.
How Rush-Hour Air Pollution Raises Blood Pressure?
There are high amounts of ultrafine particles in unfiltered rush-hour air, which significantly elevates the blood pressure of the passengers.
Coal Particulate Pollution's Death Risk Doubles PM2.5 from Other Sources
Exposure to fine particulate air pollutants, particularly coal-based PM2.5 emanating from power plants, poses more than double the mortality risk
Air Pollution Spurs 40% Surge in Eye-Related Issues
Due to worsened air quality and increased pollution in Delhi-NCR, more patients are reporting eye redness, itching, and watering.
Underreported Climate Risks for Pregnant Women & Children
Climate action overlooks the unique vulnerability of children to pollution, diseases, and extreme weather, affecting both their bodies and minds.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Mad Cow Disease Nearing Eradication: EU Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests