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From: TSS ()
Subject: COST OF U.K. BSE TESTING OVER 10 YEARS
Date: April 17, 2007 at 7:54 am PST

16 Apr 2007 : Column WA1


Written Answers
Monday 16 April 2007
Agriculture: BSE
Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

What has been the cost to date of testing cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy infection over each of the past 10 years; and whether the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is considering moving from the regular testing of cattle over 24 months to a random testing regime. [HL2577]

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The cost of testing cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Britain under the EU active surveillance programme, which was introduced in 2001, is shown in the table below.

Year Number tested* Costs £ million **
2001
80,444
19

2002
333,073
31

2003
394,712
32

2004
515,507
31

2005
547,386
41

2006
598,755
***60

Total
2,469,877
214

* Numbers tested per calendar year** Costs per financial year*** Latest forecast

These figures include laboratory costs, the costs of Meat Hygiene Service controls in abattoirs and Rural Payments Agency expenditure on the collection, brainstem sampling and disposal of cattle that have died or been killed on farm or in transit (fallen cattle). The costs of testing cattle with clinical signs of BSE are excluded.

The EU Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) Regulation (999/2001) requires the UK to test all fallen cattle aged over 24 months. An amending regulation (1923/2006), which came into force on 19 January 2007, provides for the European Commission and member states to agree either to raise the age limit for testing fallen cattle throughout the EU, or to accept an individual member state’s application to implement an alternative surveillance programme. The latter is dependent on several factors, including the agreement of harmonised criteria against which a proposal from a member state would be assessed.

Defra has asked the European Commission to raise the EU age limit for testing fallen cattle from 24 months. We are also considering how best to present an application for an alternative testing programme for fallen cattle, subject to the UK fulfilling the criteria when they are agreed. No change to the age limit for testing cattle slaughtered for human consumption (from 30 months) is envisaged at this stage.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldhansrd/text/70416w0001.htm#07041619000002


U.S.A. MAD COW TESTING...........a joke


THE USDA JUNE 2004 ENHANCED BSE SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM WAS TERRIBLY FLAWED ;


CDC DR. PAUL BROWN TSE EXPERT COMMENTS 2006


The U.S. Department of Agriculture was quick to assure the public earlier
this week that the third case of mad cow disease did not pose a risk to
them, but what federal officials have not acknowledged is that this latest
case indicates the deadly disease has been circulating in U.S. herds for at
least a decade.

The second case, which was detected last year in a Texas cow and which USDA
officials were reluctant to verify, was approximately 12 years old.

These two cases (the latest was detected in an Alabama cow) present a
picture of the disease having been here for 10 years or so, since it is
thought that cows usually contract the disease from contaminated feed they
consume as calves. The concern is that humans can contract a fatal,
incurable, brain-wasting illness from consuming beef products contaminated
with the mad cow pathogen.

"The fact the Texas cow showed up fairly clearly implied the existence of
other undetected cases," Dr. Paul Brown, former medical director of the
National Institutes of Health's Laboratory for Central Nervous System
Studies and an expert on mad cow-like diseases, told United Press
International. "The question was, 'How many?' and we still can't answer
that."

Brown, who is preparing a scientific paper based on the latest two mad cow
cases to estimate the maximum number of infected cows that occurred in the
United States, said he has "absolutely no confidence in USDA tests before
one year ago" because of the agency's reluctance to retest the Texas cow
that initially tested positive.

USDA officials finally retested the cow and confirmed it was infected seven
months later, but only at the insistence of the agency's inspector general.

"Everything they did on the Texas cow makes everything USDA did before 2005
suspect," Brown said. ...snip...end


http://www.upi.com/ConsumerHealthDaily/view.php?StoryID=20060315-055557-1284r


CDC - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Variant Creutzfeldt ...
Dr. Paul Brown is Senior Research Scientist in the Laboratory of Central
Nervous System ... Address for correspondence: Paul Brown, Building 36, Room
4A-05, ...


http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no1/brown.htm

PAUL BROWN COMMENT TO ME ON THIS ISSUE

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:10 AM


"Actually, Terry, I have been critical of the USDA handling of the mad cow issue for some years, and with Linda Detwiler and others sent lengthy detailed critiques and recommendations to both the USDA and the Canadian Food Agency."


OR, what the Honorable Phyllis Fong of the OIG found ;


Audit Report

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Surveillance Program – Phase II

and

Food Safety and Inspection Service

Controls Over BSE Sampling, Specified Risk Materials, and Advanced Meat Recovery Products - Phase III

Report No. 50601-10-KC January 2006

Finding 2 Inherent Challenges in Identifying and Testing High-Risk Cattle Still Remain


http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/50601-10-KC.pdf


TSS




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