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From: TSS (
Subject: EU mandates experts to test French goat for BSE risk
Date: November 23, 2004 at 9:19 am PST

EU mandates experts to test French goat for BSE risk

A British Laboratory has been asked by the Commission to double-check data from French scientists suspecting that they have detected BSE in a goat’s brain for the first time

Since 2002, routine tests to research transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) – a group of diseases that include BSE in cattle and scrapie affecting goats and sheep – are carried out all over the EU to estimate the prevalence of the various forms of the disease. So far, a very small proportion of sheep and goats were found to be infected by scrapie, a disease that is not transmissible to humans. However, French experts have found one case of TSE in a goat that differed from the normal scrapie strains. A Further study undertaken by the French experts led them to the conclusion that it could be BSE, a disease that is suspected to be transmissible to humans.

The European Commission has sent the scientific data to the Community Reference Laboratory in Great Britain where it will be evaluated over the coming weeks. If confirmed, it would be the first ever case of BSE in goats.

This isolated incident does not present a risk to public health as the goat tested and its herd did not enter the food and feed chain.

The presence of BSE in ruminants other than cattle had been viewed as theoretically possible but has never previously been detected despite safety measures applied in respect of all farmed ruminants (cattle, goats, sheep).

This goat was detected as part of the EU-wide surveillance programme designed to detect suspicious TSE strains in small ruminants and was the only animal in the flock affected. All goats in the flock, including the affected one, were destroyed and tests on all 300 adults in the flock were negative for all TSEs.

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