22 December 2000
No BSE in British sheep – expert
By FWi staff
THERE is absolutely no evidence that BSE has infected Britains national sheep flock, according one of the countrys leading virologists.
Hugh Reid, head of the virology division at the Moredun Research Institute in Edinburgh, said there is no sign of the disease having jumped from cattle to sheep.
“There is, in fact, good evidence now to show that it has not happened.”
The prospect of BSE in sheep hit the headlines recently when the government put in place contingency plans on advice from the Food Standards Agency.
Part of the plan included the slaughter of the entire national flock if the disease was found to have jumped to sheep.
Dr Reid and his colleagues at Moredun are currently involved in a 1 million study on various aspects of scrapie and BSE in sheep.
The team is hopeful that it will be further involved next year once government decides how it is going to implement its national scrapie-eradication programme.