31 March 1998
BSE cattle numbers continue to fall — report
By Press Association
THE number of British cattle infected with “mad cow” disease continues to fall in line with expectations, according to a BSE progress report released by Government yesterday.
The report says the number of clinically suspect cases of BSE reported in Great Britain has continued to fall, and for the six months to 31 December 1997 was 36% less than for the same period in 1996, and 68% less than for the same period in 1995. A continued improvement is expected for the future.
The epidemiology section shows that almost two-thirds of UK herds with adult breeding cattle have never had a case of BSE. Furthermore, 84% of beef suckler herds have never had a case of BSE.
Reported incidence also shows that herds with more than four cases of BSE account for nearly three-quarters of all BSE cases, but represent only just over 10% of all herds.
It also outlines and defends the measures which have been taken to protect public health during the period under report, including the beef on the bone ban and the removal of specified risk materials (SRMs) from the food chain.