BSE Testing Age Raised in Germany08 July 2013
GERMANY - Germany is to keep tests on cattle for BSE, but the age of testing is to be changed from under 72 months to under 96 months.
In future, healthy slaughtered cattle are to be tested for BSE in Germany at the age of 96 months and not, as before, at 72 months.
The German Federal Council approved the scheme on Friday and the amendment to the BSE regulations will enter into force on the day following its publication.
The new regulation was made possible by a change in teh European Commission guidelines, which allowed members states to decide whether to ispense with BSE testing or to make their own arrangements for a testing age.
The Greman agroiculture ministry said that some EU countries have decided to completely dispense with BSE testing because of the decline in teh disease.
The Federal Government said its decision to raise the age for testing was taken on the basis of a risk assessment by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI).
The experts were in favour of keeping an obligatory systematic testing in healthy slaughtered cattle so that they could continue to have an adequate data base, making it possible to observe long-term trends.
By raising the age for testing to 96 months, the experts said it was a means of achieving both preventive consumer health protection and animal health.
The BSE protection measures, including the obligation to test healthy cattle for BSE at slaughter at a certain age has been in force since 2001.
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