Brussels, 13 June 2001
BSE: Results of
the Standing Veterinary Committee
The Standing Veterinary Committee
today gave a favourable opinion on the testing
provisions foreseen in the package of measures put
forward by the European Commission yesterday updating
the regulation on Transmissible Spongiform
Encephalopathies (TSE). The Commission will now adopt
this proposal. The Committee did not reach a qualified
majority on the other measures foreseen in the second
proposal of the Commission. It includes the
prolongation of the present ban on feeding
meat-and-bone meal, the extension of the range of
imported products to the EU to be governed by
protective measures with effect from 1 October 2001 and
the amendment of the BSE eradication rules, introducing
an option for local competent authorities not to
require the killing of all cattle in herds where a BSE
case has been confirmed. This proposal will now be send
to the Council for adoption.
The proposals on which the Standing
Veterinary Committee (SVC) gave a favourable opinion and
which will now be adopted by the Commission in view of
entering into force on 1 July are:
- Reduction in the age of testing of
cattle falling into a high risk group (sent for emergency
slaughter, found sick at normal slaughter and of animals
that have died on farms) from 30 to 24 months EU-wide as of
1 July 2001. This is to provide an early warning system of
any unfavourable trend in incidence of BSE.
- An end to the requirement to carry out
testing of all healthy bovines aged over 30 months in
Austria, Finland and Sweden as of 1 July 2001. Those
countries will however need to continue to test at least 10
000 healthy cattle over 30 months on a random basis. This
is because scientists have advised that the presence of BSE
in these countries is unlikely and substantial BSE testing
efforts since the beginning of 2001 have not detected a
single BSE case.
- Introduction of the requirement to
test at least 50 000 bovines aged over 30 months in the UK
in order to obtain a better epidemiological picture.
However, all bovines over 30 months continue to be
destroyed in the UK.
- Introduction of random post mortem
testing of sheep and goats over 18 months, thus covering
healthy animals at slaughter and in fallen stock as of 1
- A facility to allow Member States to
test health animals aged under 30 months on a voluntary
basis and without discrimination to trade.
MBM-BAN, WHOLE HERD SLAUGHTER AND THIRD COUNTRY
The second range of proposals, on which
the SVC did not give a favourable opinion, include:
- Prolongation of the current suspension
on the use of meat and bone meal (MBM) in animal
feedingstuffs. This ban will be kept under review in the
light of the future decision on the risk classification of
the country or countries concerned and of progress in the
implementation of strict and effective controls.
- Introduction of offspring and cohort
slaughter as compulsory with whole herd slaughter on a
voluntary basis in the event of the discovery of BSE cases
as of 1 July 2001.
- Introduction of a requirement for
imports of live cattle from certain third countries of an
effective mammalian MBM ban to ruminants and full tracing
to the herd and dam of origin from 1 October 2001. An
exemption is granted for those countries where scientists
have concluded it is most unlikely that they will ever have
- Adaptation of the list of products of
animal origin imported into the Community to include
restrictions on a range of new products, especially tallow,
gelatine and petfood from 1 October 2001. It will mainly be
required to remove specific risk materials (i.e spinal
cord, brain) from the production of those products.
This proposal will now be send to the
Agriculture Council, meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday 19
June. The Council can adopt it by qualified majority in
favour or reject by qualified majority against. If no
qualified majority in favour or against is reached, the
proposal returns to the Commission for adoption.
Released on 14/06/2001
FOOD SAFETY |
DIRECTORATE GENERAL "HEALTH
& CONSUMER PROTECTION"