March 16, 2002 Global News WireNovember 2001 saw one of the highest increases in the number of BSE-infected cattle since 1990 - the disease was found on 19 animals at the time of their slaughter... This has prompted veterinary sources to tell Diario de Noticias that "the cases of BSE are not decreasing, if anything they are stabilizing".
According to the EU Scientific Steering Committee, the BSE shadow still hangs over Portugal. The last months of 2001 saw an increase in the number of BSE cases in livestock, an increase of 68 to 101 in one month only, bringing the annual total to 110. In the same way, the number of BSE cases in October and December of 2001 was higher than in the same months of the previous year. Another worrying fact is that 77 animals, of the total infected cattle population that has been slaughtered, were born after Portugal banned fish and bone meal. Of these 77, 60 were born between 1994 and 1996 and 17 were born between 1996 and 1997, thus suggesting that EU regulations have not been fully complied with.
This is why the EU scientific committee has now returned Portugal to the group IV of zones with a geographical risk of BSE-contamination, given the number of BSE-infected cattle registered in 2001 against the total livestock of more than 24 months of age...
The agriculture minister's office has told Diario de Noticias "they had no further comments to make on the BSE issue", with the exception that "the number of cases has been dropping substantially".