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From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. (pool144-26.dial-u2.hou.wt.net)
Subject: POSSIBLE BSE IN A 1990 UK GOAT SAMPLE (no hurry though)
Date: February 8, 2005 at 6:06 am PST


Date: February 08, 2005 Time: 12:45

POSSIBLE BSE IN A 1990 UK GOAT SAMPLE

Scientists at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency have informed Defra
that a goat, confirmed as having scrapie in 1990, may have had BSE.

More sensitive testing methods have found the sample had traits similar
to samples from goats experimentally infected with BSE. Further tests
will now be carried out.

The VLA made the finding following the recent case of BSE in a goat from
France. The VLA had been checking whether methods developed to
discriminate between scrapie and BSE in sheep could also differentiate
these diseases in a goat.

The goat appears to have originated from premises in Scotland;
investigations have revealed that the original keeper is no longer in
business at these premises.

The single result, using just one test method, is insufficient to
confirm that the goat had BSE, and further rapid molecular methods to
discriminate BSE and scrapie cannot be applied because no frozen tissues
are available.

Researchers from the VLA have been asked to carry out tests to follow up
these initial findings. Further work will now need to be performed and
this will take 1-2 years, at the earliest, to complete.

Defra's Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds, said: "It is important
to put this initial finding into context. It dates back to 1990 which
was at the height of the BSE outbreak in cattle and before the
reinforced feed ban was introduced in 1996. This means that there is a
distinct possibility that the animal, if infected with BSE, was exposed
to contaminated feed.

"In light of the recent case of BSE in a goat from France, the European
Commission says it is important to perform increased surveillance on
goats on a European-wide basis to establish the current incidence of
TSEs in the goat population. In line with this, Defra will be stepping
up its TSE surveillance programme for goats."

Defra will be asking the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee
for their comments on this finding at their meeting on the 3rd March.

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Further details about the case of BSE in a French goat detected in
2002 can be found on the European Commission's web site at:-
http://europa.eu.int/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/05/105&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

2. More details concerning the feed ban is available on the Defra web site:-
http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/bse/controls-eradication/feed-ban.html

3. General information relating to BSE can be found at:-
http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/bse/index.html

4. General information relating to scrapie can be found at:-
http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/bse/othertses/scrapie/index.html

Public enquiries 08459 335577;
Press notices are available on our website
www.defra.gov.uk
Defra's aim is sustainable development

End

Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR
Telephone 020 7238 1134
Website www.defra.gov.uk

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TSS



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