30 August 2000
US snubs Belgian ‘BSE’ sheep request
By FWi staff
THE US Department of Agriculture (USDA) government has rejected a request by Belgium for the return of 350 sheep suspected of harbouring a BSE-type disease.
Last year a BSE-type condition was discovered in four sheep in flocks in Vermont, which were imported from Belgium.
The USDA said because the sheep came from areas where BSE has been found they could harbour the disease.
This was greeted with scepticism by UK scientists and industry figures who said BSE had never been found in sheep.
The USDA said it would test for BSE as well as a type of scrapie and an unidentified type of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE).
Belgium asked for the healthy animals in the flocks to be shipped over so that scientists could monitor them.
But the USADA has said the unaffected sheep will be culled, and post-mortems carried out on the infected sheep.
It could take years to discover what they were suffering from.
- Decision soon on BSE sheep, FWi, 07 August 2000
- Cheese warning in US mad sheep scare, FWi, 19 July 2000
- US row over BSE sheep, FWi, 17 November 1999