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From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. (
Date: December 9, 2004 at 2:09 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 12:03:26 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

Dept confirms new strain of scrapie in sheep
09/12/2004 - 09:05:35

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that a new strain of scrapie
is emerging in Irish sheep.

The disease is a fatal, degenerative illness affecting the central
nervous system of sheep and goats and belongs to a group which can cause
BSE in cattle and CJD in humans.

The department's confirmation of the existence of the illness in Ireland
came just hours after the British authorities said 80 cases of an
unknown strain of scrapie had been found in sheep there.

Minutes of the BSE Sub-Committee
26th January 2004

Minutes of the BSE Sub-Committee of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland
held on 26th January 2004 at 11:00, in the Boardroom of the FSAI, Abbey
Court , Lower Abbey Street , Dublin.


Prof John D Collins (Chair) [JDC]
Dr Colm Henry [CH]
Mr Sean O'Laoide [SO'L]
Dr John Griffin [JG]
Dr Paul McKeown [PMcK]


Mr David Lynch [DL]
Ms Eileen Lippert (Secretary) [EL]
Mr Alan Reilly [AR]
Mr John Coady [JC]


Dr Mark Rogers [MR]
Mr Michael Sheridan [MS]
Dr Michael Gunn [MG]

1 Additional Declarations of Interest

Noted: There were no additional declarations of interest.

2 Adoption of the Minutes of the BSE Sub-committee on 24 th November 2003

Agreed: The minutes were adopted.

3 Matters Arising from the Minutes

Noted: There were no matters arising that were not already agenda items.

4 DAF Update

Noted: A paper with the current BSE statistics in Ireland was circulated
and a detailed summary of the results contained therein was given. Some
of the results led to a discussion on environmental, distribution and
strain aspects of BSE in 2004. Information in relation to a 1998 born
BSE case was given. DAF will provide the Sub-committee with the results
of their investigation into this case as soon as possible.

Noted: Additional information from the meeting of the Chief Veterinary
Officers which took place late in 2003 was requested. FSAI had a
representative at that meeting and the BTOR will be made available to
the Sub-committee.

Noted: The Sub-committee was pleased that there continued to be a
heightened awareness of the clinical signs of BSE at farm level in Ireland .

Agreed: The FSAI would not be in favour of a reduction in BSE
surveillance unless the BSE Sub-committee was in agreement as public
health is of the utmost importance. The precautionary principle must
apply. It was also agreed that exit strategies within the EU would
require consideration.

Noted: Further details of a new procedure drawn up in 2003 and which was
accepted by industry were discussed. Changes in parameters/controls for
rendering are being looked into by DAF. The BSE Sub-committee considered
that it was premature to make any changes in parameters/rendering
controls at this time.

Agreed: The BSE Sub-committee to seek assurance from DAF that any
proposed changes in the protocol for MBM disposal, etc, are to be
subject in advance to a formal risk assessment. A formal letter on this
issue to be sent to DAF and DoHC. The primary importance of surveillance
in relation to public health aspects of TSE control was highlighted
again by the Sub-committee. Animal surveillance testing should
complement public health measures presently in force. The Sub-committee
requested that it be kept up-to-date and informed of any changes or of
any proposed/suggested changes.

5 SRM Audit Update

Noted: The audit update was circulated to the members for information.
There were some queries as to what follow-up was carried out in the
event of a non-compliance. This was elaborated upon. Concern was
expressed about the levels of non-compliance by retail butchers
regarding the retail sale of T-bone steaks and the practical aspects of
SRM removal and disposal at retail butcher level. The Sub-committee was
informed that a new SI is being drafted regarding the control of bone
-in-beef at retail level.

Noted: New legislation on by-products was introduced in December 2003
and some of the difficulties regarding it was discussed. DAF agreed to
give an update on this issue at the next meeting of the BSE
Sub-committee. The FSAI agreed to have a draft of the SRM Audit report
available for the next BSE meeting. The FSAI audits were acknowledged as
being of assistance to the Department of Agriculture and Food in the
control of TSEs.

The audit is to continue in place. The Sub-committee supports the
proposed programme of revisits to all non-complying premises and all
cutting plants in order to follow the audit trail.

6 FSAI Update

Noted: A new SI on vertebral columns and butcher shops is being drafted
but it was suggested that there might be some problems encountered in
its implementation. The members of the Sub-committee to view a copy of
the draft SI. The new draft regulations may affect the FSAI service
contracts with the County Councils.

Noted: There will be a meeting of butchers in Port Laois on 8 th
February. D L will represent FSAI.

7 Scrapie

Noted: The recent EU decision to change scrapie surveillance was
discussed. The current scrapie figures were summarised; there has been a
reduction in the number of scrapie flocks. Also discussed were the
changes in testing programmes at EU level and it was suggested that food
safety aspects were not being addressed.

Agreed: The BSE Sub-committee expressed its concerns and reservations in
a possible reduction of surveillance and testing for scrapie in sheep.

Noted: There was a discussion about the validity and accuracy of scrapie
tests currently in use in the EU. The views of EFSA's Biohazards Panel,
together with the EU Commission's position on this matter, were considered.

Agreed: Scrapie and TSEs in sheep to be kept under active review by the

8 Targeted Cull

Noted : This was considered to be more of an animal health issue than a
public health one at this time. The issue of a targeted cull and the
number of cattle that might now be involved will be re-examined by the
Department of Agriculture & Food later this year.

9 BSE in USA and Japan

Noted: A note on BSE in USA was circulated for information. The
Sub-committee expressed concerns about the issue. The fact that the
Irish Blood Transfusion Service Board is sourcing blood products from
the USA was also raised. Concern was also expressed that gelatine used
in health food preparations might be sourced in the USA , where it could
possibly have been derived from SRM.

Agreed: The FSAI to bring this issue to the attention of the CJD
Advisory Committee.

Noted: FSAI to keep a watching brief on BSE in Japan . A list of
questions which is to complied is to be addressed by the Japanese
Authorities. AR agreed to address this matter.

10 Incineration

Noted: The FSAI report on incineration which is available on the FSAI
website was circulated for information. The Sub-committee agreed with
the conclusion of the report. The FSAI is in discussion with EPA
regarding the monitoring of the environment surrounding proposed
incinerator locations.

11 DAF Document on Disposal of MBM

Noted: A copy of the document was circulated to the members for
information and the conclusions were discussed.

Agreed: There was a concern that unsterilised meat and bone meal (MBM)
(derived from Category 3 animal by-products) could be used in dried
petfoods.The FSAI executive to approach DAF about the possible
availability of such pet food, close to foods intended for human
consumption, in supermarkets and other outlets.

Noted: It was confirmed that EFSA is preparing a paper about the
disposal of category three animal by-product material and its use for
petfood production and for agricultural usage.

12 Correspondence

Noted: There was no correspondence.

13 AOB

Noted: The Sub-committee expressed it sympathy and shock at the recent
death of Ann Westby. They sent their condolences to her family and the
FSAI staff.

11 Date of Next Meeting

Agreed: The next meeting will take place in the FSAI Boardroom on 15 th
March at 11:00.


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