Risk Status to be Eased by BSE Announcement22 February 2013
US – The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has released a recommendation that the US bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) risk status is upgraded from ‘controlled’ to ‘negligible risk’.
The US submitted an application last year to the OIE to have BSE status lifted. The OIE notification is a recommendation, acknowledging US efforts to control the spread of the disease.
Agricultural Secretary, Tom Vislack said: "I am very pleased with this decision and recommendation by the OIE's Scientific Commission. This is a significant achievement for the United States, American beef producers and businesses, and federal and state partners who work in coordination to maintain a system of three interlocking safeguards against BSE that protect our public and animal health.”
“Being classified as negligible risk for BSE by the OIE will also greatly support our efforts to increase exports of U.S. beef and beef products,” added Mr Vislack.
Controlling BSE is done by three main measures, firstly removing ‘specified risk material’ from the carcass. Other actions are imposing bans on ruminant to ruminant feed and restricting movement of animal and animal products across borders from countries with BSE.
Reflecting on the measures implemented to control BSE, American Meat Institute President, Patrick J. Boyle said: “This decision is a testament to the two decades of industry, government and scientific community collaboration to protect our cattle and produce safe, wholesome beef products for consumers worldwide. It’s a proud day for all us.”
US officials expect the OIE to formally adopt a new ‘negligible risk’ status for US beef at the OIE general assembly meeting in May.
TheMeatSite News Desk