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UK 'fails to record full extent of BSE' rd

December 8, 2001 The Guardian (London) by James Meikle
The incidence of BSE in British cattle is still probably far higher than official figures reveal, EU vets and scientists have said.

They say a "considerable degree of uncertainty" must be assumed, and more tests might have increased last year's tally of 1,450 confirmed cases by another 2,700. Papers published by the European commission this week reveal a debate about whether London does enough to monitor the disease in animals over 30 months, nearly all of which are banned from human food.

One group of BSE specialists has recommended that all such cattle slaughtered when they have no milking or breeding purpose should be tested. Such a "prudent measure" could have meant well over 700,000 animals being tested.

But the main scientific steering committee seems satisfied with a "large and significant sample" which the government says it is about to provide.

Over the next year, 100,000 cattle born in the year after the introduction of a complete ban on remains being fed to cattle - in August 1996 - will be tested in slaughterhouses. Another 50,000 animals killed as part of the over 30-months scheme will be checked, along with 120,000 animals that die naturally or are destroyed.

Scientists are getting a far better understanding of the numbers of BSE cases in other countries. Far more older cattle are being tested in continental Europe, but that is because no other countries have a rule keeping animals over 30 months old out of food.

The total number of cases outside Britain, about 3,500, is still dwarfed by the British figure of 180,000 since late 1986.


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Organic Consumers Association - 6771 South Silver Hill Drive, Finland MN 55603
E-mail: Staff · Activist or Media Inquiries: 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652
Please support our work. Send a tax-deductible donation to the OCA

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.
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