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From: TSS (216-119-144-17.ipset24.wt.net)
Subject: Re: Twelve Greek goats were found to be suffering from the brain-wasting disease scrapie in the first half of 2004
Date: January 20, 2005 at 12:32 pm PST

In Reply to: Twelve Greek goats were found to be suffering from the brain-wasting disease scrapie in the first half of 2004 posted by TSS on January 19, 2005 at 11:31 am:


(1) What is the new information about TSE in Goats ?

Goats can suffer from scrapie, which is a type of TSE (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy), a group of diseases that also includes BSE in cattle. Scrapie has been known for centuries. Until now, there has been no evidence of the existence of BSE in the EU's sheep and goat population under natural conditions. Now preliminary results indicate that a goat slaughtered in France in 2002 has a type of TSE which might be BSE. Extensive tests have been carried out, including the mouse bioassay (which takes two years to complete), which is why results are only now becoming available. However, this incident does not indicate a risk to public health as the goat in question and its entire herd were disposed of and did not enter the food chain.

This TSE was detected in a healthy goat as part of the normal surveillance measures which have been in place in the EU for many years. In addition to extensive surveillance and monitoring, other safety measures are also applied to all farmed ruminants (i.e. cattle, goats and sheep), in order to offer the maximum public health protection.

The French research findings have been submitted for an evaluation by an expert panel, see the related press release for more information.

(2) Are goat milk, cheese and meat safe ?

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has advised that based on current scientific knowledge, milk and milk products are unlikely to present any risk of TSE contamination if the milk comes from healthy animals. However, as a precautionary measure, milk from herds which are affected by a TSE case cannot be used. For more information, please see the EFSA website.

For meat, specified risk materials (the tissues most likely to carry the infectivity if the disease is present) are removed from all goats even if there is no TSE infection present. In addition the meat from herds affected by a TSE case can also not be used. Therefore, we advise no change in current consumption of milk, cheese and meat.

(3) Does this suspected case of BSE in a goat indicate a widespread problem ?

Ever since BSE was discovered in cattle, an extensive monitoring and surveillance regime for scrapie and BSE has been in place also for sheep and goats. Since 2002 over 1 million animals have been tested. Given this widespread testing, the finding of isolated cases of BSE would not indicate that there is a widespread problem. Furthermore, the goat population in the EU is very small (12.7 million compared with 89.2 million sheep in 2003). Among sheep, widespread testing has been done, mostly in the UK since it has the highest incidence of BSE, and all testing results were negative.

# Press Releases :


# Panel of scientists require more data to evaluate suspected case of BSE in a goat , 26 November 2004
# Commission submits French Research Findings on TSE in a goat to Expert Panel , 28 October 2004 de es fr it

# Question & Answers :


# Questions & Answers on TSE in goats , 28 October 2004 de es fr it

# Surveillance in Goats :


# Testing goats in 2004


# Testing goats in 2003


# Testing goats in 2002

# Scientific Advices :


# Opinion on safe sourcing of small ruminant materials (safe sourcing of small ruminant materials should BSE in small ruminants become probable: genotype, breeding, rapid TSE testing, flocks certification and specified risk materials).
(Adopted by the Scientific Steering Committee at its meeting of 4-5 April 2002) pdf


# Opinion on a Strategy to investigate the possible presence of BSE in sheep.
(Adopted by the Scientific Steering Committee at its meeting of 4-5 April 2002) pdf


# Opinion on the safety of small ruminant products should BSE in small ruminants become probable/confirmed.
(Adopted by the Scientific Steering Committee on 18-19 October 2001) pdf


# Opinion on a Pre-emptive risk assessment should BSE in small ruminants be found under domestic conditions.
(Adopted by the Scientific Steering Committee on 8-9 February 2001) pdf


# Opinion on the risk of infection of sheep and goats with BSE agent.
(Adopted by the Scientific Steering Committee on 24-25 September 1998) pdf


# Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Biological Hazards of the European food safety on the interpretation of results of EU surveillance of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in ovine and caprine animals, culling strategies for TSEs in small ruminants and the TSE-related safety of certain small ruminant products.
(Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-029) pdf


http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/food/biosafety/bse/goats_index_en.htm

TSS




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