14 November 2001
BSE testing stepped up further

By FWi staff

A MAJOR expansion of the governments BSE testing programme, which will see some 200,000 animals tested annually, begins on Wednesday (14 November).

Analytical laboratory LGC will test all cattle born between 1 August, 1996, and 31 July, 1997 slaughtered under the Over Thirty Months Scheme (OTMS).

A proportion of these animals, which do not enter the food chain, are already being tested in government laboratories, but now all will be tested.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs estimates that between 150-200,000 animals will be tested each year.

LGC will also test a sample of 50,000 other OTM cattle, and government laboratories are testing fallen stock and casualty animals.

Junior Defra minister Elliot Morley said: “These tests will give us a more accurate picture of the level of BSE infectivity in the UK herd, and will add to results from our existing already much expanded testing programme.

“Cattle born in the year after 1 August, 1996 are particularly significant as this is the date when our strengthened feed controls were considered to be fully effective.”