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From: TSS ()
Subject: Opinion of the BIOHAZ Panel on the BSE risk from cohort animals: bovine hides and skins for technical purposes
Date: June 28, 2006 at 12:15 pm PST

Opinion of the BIOHAZ Panel on the BSE risk from cohort animals: bovine hides and skins for technical purposes
Last updated: 28 June 2006
Adopted on 18 May 2006. (Question N° EFSA-Q-2005-292)

Opinion
Summary
SUMMARY


The European Commission requested the European Food Safety Authority for an opinion on the TSE risk from use of hides and skins from cohort animals for technical purposes.


The major use of cattle hides is for the production of leather. However certain parts of these hides, unfit for leather production are used for manufacture of technical products and for the production of gelatine and collagen for human consumption. Allowing the hides of culled cohort cattle and those of UK cattle born before August 1996 to be used for leather production, both having a larger risk of being infected with (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) BSE than the general cattle population, could result in an increased risk for consumers by accidental inclusion of such hides into the raw materials for gelatine and collagen.


Despite available results from studies on the presence of PrPSc and tissue infectivity of different type tissues and sensitive detection methods, so far infectivity has never been found in cattle hides. It is assumed that infectivity of cattle hides could only result from cross-contamination with nervous tissue during and after slaughtering. In this case cross-contamination would be very small, and different processes would have a certain capacity to inactivate Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) agents. In addition to that and because of the regulations in place and all steps and processes are supervised by competent authorities and can be well controlled, it was concluded that if contamination is avoided, the production of leather made from the hides of cohort cattle presents a negligible risk.


Slaughtering cohort cattle applying the same conditions and precautions as in a slaughterhouse but under time separated conditions from normal slaughter or in dedicated premises, and removal of the hide immediately after slaughter will result in the smallest risk of cross-contamination. In addition, it was concluded that clear and immediate labeling of the hides of cohort cattle at the place of slaughter, direct transport of these hides from there to a tannery exclusively processing animal by-product (ABP) category 3 hides, and destruction of all untanned and tanned side products, will give the smallest risk of accidental inclusion of hide of cohort cattle in raw material for products intended for human consumption. Glue made from leather shaving from the hides of cohort cattle forms a higher risk than the other products if contamination can not be excluded. The hide of the head of cohort cattle presents the highest risk for cross-contamination by blood and brain spilled through the hole in the forehead contaminating the skin of the scalp.


A quantitative risk assessment (QRA) is not possible with the data, which are presently available, because no accurate data on the amount of cross contamination of skin with nervous tissue are known.


It is however recommended that measures should be taken to further minimise the risk of cross contamination and/or of accidental inclusion.


Publication date: 28 June 2006

http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/biohaz/biohaz_opinions/1575_en.html

CONCLUSIONS

1) If contamination is avoided, the production of leather made from the hides of cohort

cattle presents a negligible risk.

2) Slaughtering cohort cattle applying the same conditions and precautions as in a

slaughterhouse but under time separated conditions from normal slaughter or in

dedicated premises, and removal of the hide immediately after slaughter will result in

the smallest risk of cross-contamination.

3) Clear and immediate labeling of the hides of cohort cattle at the place of slaughter,

direct transport of these hides from there to a tannery exclusively processing ABP

category 3 hides, and destruction of all untanned and tanned side products, will give

the smallest risk of accidental inclusion of hide of cohort cattle in raw material for

products intended for human consumption.

4) Glue made from leather shaving from the hides of cohort cattle forms a higher risk

than the other products if contamination can not be excluded.

5) The hide of the head of cohort cattle presents the highest risk for cross-contamination

by blood and brain spilled through the hole in the forehead contaminating the skin of

the scalp.

6) A QRA is not possible with the data, which are presently available, because no

accurate data on the amount of cross contamination of skin with nervous tissue are

known.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1) Measures should be taken to minimise the risk of contamination and of accidental

inclusion of hides from BSE positive cohort animals into the food and feed chain.

Therefore cohort animals intended for leather production should be subject to BSE

testing.

2) It is recommended to slaughter cohort cattle, from which the hides will be used for

leather production, only under slaughterhouse conditions separated in time from

normal slaughter or in dedicated premises followed by appropriate decontamination.

3) The following measures should be taken into account with respect to:

- clear labelling immediately after slaughter,

- limiting the number of intermediate steps (storage, transport, owners) between

slaughtering and tanning by direct transport of these hides from there to a tannery

exclusively processing category 3 hides,

- destruction of all untanned and tanned side products.

The EFSA Journal (2006) 367, 1-25

Opinion on the BSE risk from cohort animals: bovine hides and skins for technical purposes

www.efsa.eu.int 22 of 25

4) Measures should take into account that glue made from leather shavings from the

hides of cohort cattle forms a higher risk.

5) Measures should take into account that the hides of the head of cohort cattle are at

highest risk for contamination.

http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/biohaz/biohaz_opinions/1575/biohaz_op_ej367_cohort_hides_tech_purposes_en1.pdf

TSS




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