29 March 1996

Overseas – not on same scale

BSE abroad is not on the same scale as in Britain (see table).

Mr Maclean acknowledges that many foreign BSE casualties came from UK breeding stock. Some authorities have also pinpointed imported meat and bonemeal as the source, while others can prove no link between BSE outbreaks and dealings with Britain.

"That does not mean it wasnt meat and bonemeal, because it is difficult to identify when on a lorry," admits Mr Maclean.

Switzerland has the highest integrity when it comes to reporting BSE cases, says Mr Maclean. "I am not going to say that proves a point. To date, they have not had a consumer problem despite this."

Both France and the Republic of Ireland kill the whole herd if there is an outbreak of BSE. This is to protect export markets and maintain a clean image, says Mr Maclean.

Holland claims it has never had a BSE case, because it has always rendered ruminant-based protein at a very high temperature. It no longer feeds such material.

Countries in which BSE has been confirmed since 1986

Great Britain158,006

N Ireland1,669


Isle of Man405


Republic of Ireland*120







*Denotes herd slaughterings, rather than individual cows.