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From: TSS ()
Subject: Dutch report new BSE case
Date: November 11, 2005 at 6:09 am PST

Dutch report new BSE case
Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:01 PM GMT

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands, one of the world's biggest meat and dairy exporters, said on Friday it had discovered a new case of the deadly, brain-wasting mad cow disease in a five-year old animal.

The Agriculture Ministry said the case on a farm in Gulpen, in the southern province of Limburg, was the second this year and the 79th since the outbreak in 1997 of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

The cow was slaughtered on November 2, the ministry said. A first test one day later was positive, and a second test on November 10 confirmed the result.

Eight other animals that were thought to be at risk were killed, the ministry said.

In May, a 26-year-old Dutch woman stricken with the human variant of mad cow -- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease -- died, the country's first victim of the illness.

Around 150 cases of the human form of the illness have been reported around the world, mostly in Britain, but also in France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Canada and the United States.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Measures taken by the Dutch Government
Removal of risk material
Ban on animal protein
Compulsory BSE test

For some years now the Netherlands has been taking measures to prevent BSE (Bovine Spongiforme Encephalopathy) in its cattle herd. All EU measures were implemented, though the Netherlands has also anticipated European regulation and introduced additional measures of its own.
In spite of all these efforts the Netherlands has not been free of BSE. It was first diagnosed in the Netherlands in 1997. See the complete list of confirmed cases in the section Cases of BSE in the Netherlands.

Measures taken by the Dutch Government
Over the years a broad package of measures has been built up to combat BSE. This is partly aimed at food safety, partly at the eradication of BSE. These measures follow the recommendations of the Office International des Epizoties (OIE), and Decisions of the European Union.
The measures involve:

Tracking down diseased or suspect cattle. Since 1989 it is been compulsory for owners and veterinarians to report any cattle that show symptoms of BSE to the authorities.
Evaluation of the animal´s health at the slaughterhouse, prior to slaughter.
Compulsory removal of risk material on slaughter. This measure was introduced in the Netherlands in 1997. It has applied to all European Member States since 1 October 2000.
Treatment of animal by-products used in animal feed at 133°C and 3 bar during 20 min. since the seventies.
A ban on the use of animal protein in animal feed for domestic farm animals (such as cattle).
Testing for BSE on all slaughtered cattle older than 30 months.
Further information on the most important measures is given below.

Removal of risk material
The most important measure taken to protect the consumer against BSE is the decision that so-called risk material must be removed in the slaughterhouse. The disease-causing prions do not occur in the whole animal. They are concentrated in the brains, spinal cord and some other risk material. This material is removed on slaughter and incinerated, and so eliminated from the food chain. Disease-causing organisms have never been found in meat taken from cattle muscle (steak, etc.).
The removal of risk material has been compulsory since 1997.

Ban on animal protein
The aim is to eliminate BSE by removing the most important source of infection (infected animal protein).
Since 1989 there has been a ban in the Netherlands on the use of remains of ruminants in ruminant feed (cattle, sheep and goats). This ban has been tightened on a number of occasions
Since 1994 no animal protein originating from mammals (previously ruminants) may be used in ruminant feed.
Since 1999 the production of feed for ruminants and feed for non-ruminants containing animal protein is totally separated. This measures prevents any contamination of feed for ruminants with animal protein
Since 1 January 2001 feed containing animal protein from mammals is not only banned for ruminants, but also for all domestic farm animals, such as pigs and chickens.

Compulsory BSE test
From 1 January 2001 all cattle older than 30 months presented for slaughter are subjected to a rapid BSE test, approved by the European Commission. In order to carry out these tests a piece of brain tissue is removed from the cattle. If the result is positive the final diagnosis is made by traditional microscopic study of brain tissue, according to OIE.
In addition to the testing of cattle older than 30 months, risk material is removed from slaughtered cattle intended for human consumption.


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