Spreading BSE in Czech Rep by milk replacer import possible--SVS

Spreading BSE in Czech Rep by milk replacer import possible--SVS

June 21, 2001 Czech News Agency

PRAGUE, June 21 (CTK) - The State Veterinary Administration SVS considers it likely that the mad cow disease BSE has spread in the CzechRep through feeding calves with imported milk replacer, SVS spokesman Josef Duben told CTK today with reference to information carried by today's press.

The press wrote that BSE had entered the CzechRep in milk replacer feed mixtures which contained improperly processed fat from carcass disposal plants.

Tests carried out in a lab at Duesseldorf's Heinrich Heine university confirmed that milk replacer mixtures, produced in Germany, France and Britain until December 2000, pose the risk of BSE, the press reported, adding that the CzechRep is largely importing the mixtures from these countries.

The tests have shown that prions, which cause BSE, have not always been completely destroyed in the mixtures and that they survived the procession of fats from carcass disposal plants, the press wrote.

The SVS has come up with two options of transmitting BSE to the CzechRep. The first says that meat-and-bone meal which, in spite of certification, was not adequately processed was added to the mixtures for cattle at mixing plants.

The other option, which the SVS is inclined to believe, says that the cow was infected at the time it was still a calf and consumed the imported milk replacer, in which milk fat was replaced with fat from carcass disposal plants.

Given the fact that the cow was infected five years ago, it is difficult to trace the source, Duben said.

The first BSE case in the CzechRep was confirmed by the State Veterinary Office in Jihlava, South Moravia, on June 8. The cow was from a farm in Dusejov in the Jihlava region.

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