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From: TSS ()
Subject: REPORT ON TRANSMISSIBLE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHIES in Great Britain 2004 is published today
Date: October 24, 2005 at 10:32 am PST

Date: October 24, 2005 Time: 17:15

The Progress Report on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies in Great Britain for 2004 is published today. It is available online at


The Report shows that the number of BSE cases in domestic cattle continues to fall steeply, at a rate of about 40% per year.

The Report explains primarily how we have managed BSE during 2004. The encouraging reduction in BSE in cattle continues. This shows that the controls which have been put in place are continuing to have an important effect.

The Report outlines the measures which have been taken to protect public health during 2004. It describes the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)'s response in May 2004 to the paper the UK submitted to them in 2003, and their subsequent agreement in March 2005 that the UK can be considered as moderate risk for the whole cattle population. This is a significant step in the UK's efforts to secure the easing of the beef export ban.

The Report outlines the further steps required before the ban can be eased. It also outlines the progress of the TSE surveillance programme and provides an overview of TSE research and sets out progress on the National Scrapie Plan, as well as our continuing efforts to ensure compliance with the rules on specified risk material and animal feed.

Notes to Editors

1. This Report is the second annual Progress Report on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies in Great Britain. Prior to the previous Report, published in June 2004, the Progress Report was published every six months.

2. Whilst the number of animals tested in 2004 as part of Defra's active surveillance programme increased by over 30% compared to 2003 (to 515,506), the 226 confirmed BSE cases represented a decrease of over 39% on the 374 cases detected in 2003. The number of cases detected by passive surveillance decreased by over 52% (from 173 to 82).

3. Copies of the Report are available free of charge from Defra Publications, Admail 6000, London SW1A 2XX. Tel 08459 556000. The Report can also be accessed from the Internet at

4. This release and other information about Defra's work can be found on the Internet at

Public enquiries 08459 335577;
Press notices are available on our website Defra's aim is sustainable development

Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR


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