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Food Safety


Brussels, 15 November 2000

Main EU legislation on BSE

This list gives an overview of the main European Union (EU) legislation on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) as well as the main elements of the decisions. A complete chronological overview of all the BSE legislation is available on the internet at:

Decision 89/469 28 July 1989 (live cattle UK)

The United Kingdom shall not send to other Member States live cattle born before 18 July 1988 or born to females in which bovine spongiform encephalopathy is suspected or has been officially confirmed.

Decision 90/134 6 March 1990 (notification of BSE)

All outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy shall be notified.

Decision 90/200 9 April 1990 (products UK)

The United Kingdom shall not send from its territory to that of other Member states: brains, spinal cord, thymus, tonsils, spleen, intestines derived from bovine animals aged more than six months at slaughter.

Decision 94/381 27 June 1994 (feed ban)

Member States shall prohibit the feeding of protein derived from mammalian tissues to ruminant species.

Decision 94/382 27 June 1994 (Processing of ruminant waste)

approval of alternative heat treatment systems for processing animal waste of ruminant origin, with a view to the inactivation of spongiform encephalopathy agents

Decision 96/239 27 March 1996 (UK embargo)

the United Kingdom shall not export from its territory to the other Member States or third countries bovine animals and bovine products

Decision 96/449 18 July 1996 (processing of mammalian waste)

processing conditions for mammalian animal waste with a view to the inactivation of spongiform encephalopathy agents: 133° - 3 Bar - 20 minutes - now replaced by 1999/534 (introduces processing conditions for tallow).

Decision 98/256 16 March 1998 (partial lifting of UK embargo - ECHS)

First amendment of the UK embargo: Reinforcement of controls and first steps towards lifting of the ban under Export Certified Herds Scheme (ECHS) of Northern Ireland

Decision 98/272 23 April 1998 (epidemio-surveillance of TSEs)

Lays down general rules for the epidemio-surveillance of all Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Amended by 2000/374, introducing rapid tests (see below)

Decision 98/653 18 November 1998 (Portugal embargo)

Ban on the dispatch of bovine animals and bovine products from Portugal

Decision 98/692 25 November 1998 (partial lifting of UK embargo - DBES)

Second amendment of the UK embargo: Adoption of the principles of the second step towards lifting of the ban under the Date-Based-Export-Scheme (BDES) applicable in the entire UK.

Decision 99/514 23 June 1999 (date for dispatch of DBES meat and meat products)

Fixing of the date on which beef and beef products of UK origin under the DBES may commence: 1 August 1999

Decision 2000/374 5 June 2000 (reinforcement of surveillance by rapid testing)

Reinforcement of the epidemic surveillance of BSE in cattle by introducing a monitoring programme from 1st January 2001, through rapid post mortem tests. The Member States will carry out annual monitoring programmes on a targeted sample of animals, with a particular focus on animals which die on farms, sick animals slaughtered as emergencies and animals displaying behavioural or neurological signs.

Decision 2000/418 29 June 2000 (SRMs)

Member States shall remove animal tissues which are most likely to present a BSE risk (summarised: the skull, the tonsils, the spinal cord and the ileum) from the feed and food chain as of October 1st. Meat imports from third countries will be subject to similar requirements as of 1 April 2001, unless scientific assessment indicates such measures are not necessary.

Proposal 19 October 2000 (Fallen stock)

The draft Regulation proposes to prohibit the recycling of fallen stock and condemned animal material in animal food. The only animal material allowed to be used for the production of animal feed would then be material derived from animals declared fit fro human consumption following veterinary inspection. (Only a proposal at this stage - Adopted by the Commission on 19 October)





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