Regulations are required in all EU states to ensure that spinal card material and spinal column in some states is removed from cattle and sheep carcasses. Carcasses are contaminated with CNS material during conventional splitting operations, and washing does not remove the contamination. A novel saw, for complete removal of the vertebral column from inside the eviscerated carcass before splitting, has been developed under laboratory conditions; this ensures that all cord material remains encased in bone. Prototype saws for cattle and sheep carcasses will be used to validate the above laboratory results under commercial slaughterhouse conditions. Functional tests, will evaluate the commercial viability of this new approach and the results will be used in an economic appraisal. The main objective of this project is to ensure that the results are disseminated to an extended audience across the EU.
- A new technique for removal of spinal column from cattle and sheep carcasses.
- To construct demonstration equipment, conduct proving trials to validate the oval saw under commercial slaughter conditions and conduct an economic analysis.
- To disseminate the results to an extended audience.
It is generally accepted that the same agent causes BSE in cattle and vCJD in humans. Controls are designed to prevent the parts of slaughtered animals most likely to contain the BSE agent from entering the food chain, but current practices are inadequate. The Action aims to provide a healthy food supply and acknowledges that undesirable components pose a challenge to the safety of food.