07 December 1998
More BSE cases in Europe

THE number of BSE cases across Europe has risen sharply during the past year, according to a report by the European Commission.

Some 192 cases were recorded in Continental countries, including Switzerland and even Liechenstein.

The report is critical of the “unscientific and unnecessary” slaughter of thousands of cattle belonging to herds on mainland Europe.

It condemns a policy of slaughtering an entire herd, as many as 200 cows, when a single case of BSE is found.

There have 177 BSE cases recorded in European Union countries, which have lead to the slaughter of more than 9000 cows.

The reports authors advise a “cohort” approach to slaughter when a case of BSE is found.

This involves tracking down cows of the same age from the same farm, which should have eaten the same infected meat and bone meal.

The UK only requires the slaughter of affected cattle, rather than herds or cohorts.

There have been a total of 172,000 cases in 34,000 different herds in Britain since BSE became notifiable in 1987.

The EU has told 10 countries that they breached rules set up to avoid another epidemic.

The countries are France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Portugal, Denmark and Greece.