1 November 2000
Sheep BSE scare hits headlines
By FWi staff
EVERY one of Britains 40 million sheep might have to be slaughtered if BSE is found in the national flock, a number of national newspapers have reported.
Under the front-page headline “Is BSE now in British lamb?” the Daily Express underlines fears that “mad cow disease” may have infected sheep.
The paper bases its story on Food Standards Agency calls for faster screening of sheep to reduce uncertainty about whether BSE affects the national flock.
Asked whether the entire flock would be slaughtered if BSE was found in sheep, FSA chief executive Geoffrey Podgers is quoted as saying:
“That is the position we are coming from, as you have anticipated.
“It is not easy to see how it would be possible for sheep to remain on sale if there is no way of distinguishing sheep meat which clearly does not carry infectivity.”
The Daily Telegraph reports that the agency is concerned that scrapie in up to 10,000 sheep each year could be masking the “cattle plague”.
The Guardian reports that agency officials have recommended tests on sheep intestines used for sausage casings.
They are also recommending further bans on feeding practices that “turn animals into cannibals”, the paper reports.