7 April 2000

EU-wide BSE tests from next January

BRUSSELS has confirmed that it will start EU-wide testing for BSE next January, focusing on cattle which die on farms, are slaughtered as emergencies or display unusual behavioural or neurological signs.

EU vets meeting on Tuesday voted in favour of the measure, which will see rapid post-mortem tests carried out on an estimated 65,000 animals a year – about 16% of the "at risk" population.

"This will provide us with more information about the efficiency of our surveillance systems in member states and enable us to provide maximum protection for European citizens," said consumer affairs commissioner, David Byrne. &#42