FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE
In response to both animal and public health threats resulting from transmissible spongiform encephalopaties (TSEs), such as BSE (mad cow disease) which is linked to new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, the European Commission has taken a series of measures to manage the risk of TSE's. Framework Regulation 999/2001 (consolidated version published in July 2008) was adopted in May 2001, with the intention to supersede all existing TSE legislation. It established rules for the monitoring of TSE in bovine, ovine and caprine animals, the removal of Specified Risk Material (SRM) and prohibitions concerning animal feeding. It introduced measures for the eradication of TSE, rules covering intra- and extra-Community trade and criteria to classify the BSE status of member states and third countries. Certain requirements, including removal of SRM's, would then be applied to a country depending on its classification. Regulation 1923/2006 amends Regulation 999/2001 in order to adopt the BSE classification of countries into 3 categories under OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) rules and to correct discrepancies with Regulation 1774/2002 on animal by-products.
More details on current EU TSE legislation can be found on the Commission's website.
Amendments to Framework Regulation 999/2001 & TSE Roadmap
Since its adoption, Regulation 999/2001 has been amended several times to adjust it to new developments and scientific evidence. A comprehensive of BSE/TSE legislation in the EU is available on the European Commission's website. The EU's measures to fight TSE's have led to a significant reduction in cases. Based on this improved situation, the Commission has presented a "TSE Roadmap" on a short, medium-term and long-term strategy. This document suggests possible amendments to the EU's current TSE legislation for the next decade (see GAIN Report E35164). Because of the rapid decline on BSE cases, the EU updated its work plan in November of 2007 in a Commission Staff Working Document (see GAIN Report E48101).
Amendments in the short and medium term (2005-2009) are in the fields of:
Amendments in the long-term (2009-2014) include:
The United States is required to remove SRM's from animal products for export to the EU. Commission Decision 2007/453/EC of June 29, 2007, clasffied the U.S. under countries or regions with a controlled BSE risk, in line with the new OIE classification.
, introduced requirements for the import of cervid products from Canada and the United States. This regulation imposes the removal of Specific Risk Materials (SRM) from all cervid meats exported to the EU and limits exports of wild game to areas free of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) as from January 1, 2005.
EU-27 | EU-15
increases age for mandatory BSE testing
GAIN report E48117 (October 2008).
October 14, 2008, the Standing Committee on the Food Chain & Animal Health (SCoFCAH)
decided to increase the mandatory testing age for mad cow disease (BSE) in the
EU-15 to 48 months. Currently testing age is 30 months for healthy cattle at
slaughter and 24 months for all at risk cattle. It is expected that this new
measure can lead to a 25-35 percent decrease in testing of cattle at slaughter
depending on the Member State. The decrease in testing of at risk cattle will be
EU Directorate for Health and Consumer Protection presents its TSE Roadmap GAIN report E35164 (August, 2005): On July 15, 2005, DG SANCO presented a whole series of possible amendments to its TSE policy in its "TSE Roadmap. These possible amendments to EC Regulation 999/2001 result from recent years' improvement in the EU-25 BSE situation and also addresses recent problems that have come up with the current measures. These amendments could halve the cost of the present BSE/TSE measures in the EU or more. Some of these amendments could also lower the present burden on some U.S. exports of processed animal by-products.