Brussels, 13 February 2001
geographical risk assessment of BSE for Botswana,
Lithuania, Namibia, Nicaragua and Swaziland
The Scientific Steering Committee
(SSC) advising the European Commission inter alia on
BSE related issues has today published its opinion on
the Geographical Risk of Bovine Spongiform
Encephalopathy (GBR) in Botswana, Lithuania, Namibia,
Nicaragua, and Swaziland. The committee concludes that
it is likely that BSE is present in the cattle herds of
Lithuania and highly unlikely that cattle infected with
the BSE agent are present in the domestic herds of
Botswana, Namibia, Nicaragua, and Swaziland.
Lithuania has since 1993 imported 1.900
live cattle and 30.800 tons of meat-and-bone-meal from EU
countries. The appropriate risk management measures such as
a MBM feed-ban and its control were not put in place until
very recently. Therefore it is regarded highly likely that
Lithuanian cattle were exposed to potentially BSE
contaminated feed and subsequently infected.
The conclusions of the assessments for
Botswana, Namibia, Nicaragua and Swaziland are based on the
fact that, according to all available data, imports of
potentially infected live cattle or potentially
contaminated meat-and-bone meal into these countries were
always negligible. As the systems in Botswana and Swaziland
are qualified as "neutrally stable" and as "unstable" in
Namibia and Nicaragua, the assessments would have to be
revised if imports of cattle or MBM would turn out to have
The SSC recommends that BSE related
aspects are included in the programme of future inspection
missions of the FVO as far as feasible so as to obtain
confirmation of the information it has received from the
national authorities in the countries concerned.
The evaluation of the GBR in these third
countries was made on the basis of the same method and
assessment process as described by the SSC in its July 2000
opinion on the GBR(1). In the July-opinion the scientists
already assessed the GBR risk in all EU Member States
except Greece, and in a first series of third countries(2).
An assessment for Uruguay was published last month.
Assessments of the GBR of another 25 Third Countries that
have provided a dossier for analysis to the Commission, are
ongoing. They are hoped to be finalised next month, at the
next SSC-meeting end of March.
The full text of the opinion and the
detailed report are available at:
(1) see IP of August1, 2000 at
(2) Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile,
Norway, New Zealand, Paraguay, Switzerland, USA
Released on 13/02/2001
FOOD SAFETY |
DIRECTORATE GENERAL "HEALTH
& CONSUMER PROTECTION"