23 January 2001
BSE threat to fighting bull trade

By FWi staff

AN OUTBREAK of BSE in Spain could threaten the future of breeders of prize-fighting bulls, reports the Financial Times.

It is the custom that fighting bulls are butchered for human consumption, with many parts, including the testicles, prized as delicacies.

But most fighting bulls are already fours years old when they enter the ring, well over the 30-month threshold after which a BSE test is required.

While none of Spains eight BSE cases since November involve Iberian fighting bulls, an infected herd would spell disaster, says the FT.

Breeders can receive Pta2 million (7400) by offering prize specimens to the ring, and the same when the animals are sent to the slaughterhouse.

While breeders insist no fighting bulls have been fed bovine material, widely seen as the most likely source of BSE, they have withdrawn bulls from abattoirs.

That way they will not have to test them for BSE.