Scientific Opinion on a second update on the risk for human and animal health related to the revision of the BSE monitoring regime in some Member States

BSE, Atypical BSE, monitoring regime, European Union, revision
First published in the EFSA Journal
13 December 2010
9 December 2010
Last Updated
15 February 2011. This version replaces the previous one/s.
Scientific Opinion

The Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) monitoring system implemented in the European Union (EU) has been reviewed in this opinion for twenty five Member States (MSs). For this revision, MSs were divided into three groups depending on the number of years during which they have implemented the EU monitoring regime, and/or on the similarities of their epidemiological situations. Key assumptions made include: (i) full past compliance (for at least 6 years) with EU regulatory requirements for the surveillance and control of cattle BSE, (ii) future continuity of the BSE controls, and (iii) perfect sensitivity of the rapid tests employed for BSE surveillance. Two methodologies were applied to these three groups of MSs using available EU BSE monitoring data. The first one looks at the age of detected cases in each calendar year, while the second looks at the number of cases in successive annual birth cohorts. For the first group of MSs, these methodologies were applied in order to estimate the number of Classical BSE cases that would be missed under three different scenarios: (i) an increase in the age for BSE testing in cattle; (ii) stopping testing in cattle born after a certain date, and (iii) stopping testing of healthy slaughter cattle after certain dates. In the second group of MSs, the epidemiological situation was at least equivalent to that of the first group, and thus the conclusion was that they can be considered together for any potential revision of the BSE monitoring system. For the third group of MSs, it was not possible to calculate detailed estimates as their particular epidemiological situation compromises the application of some of the methods used. Recommendations are made in order to overcome the limitations encountered, and to ensure fitness of the EU monitoring regime for the purposes for which it is currently used.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Olivier Andreoletti, Herbert Budka, Sava Buncic, John D Collins, John Griffin, Tine Hald, Arie Havelaar, James Hope, Günter Klein, James McLauchlin, Christine Müller-Graf, Christophe Nguyen-The, Birgit Noerrung, Luisa Peixe, Miguel Prieto Maradona, Antonia Ricci, John Sofos, John Threlfall, Ivar Vågsholm and Emmanuel Vanopdenbosch.
Panel on Biological Hazards
EFSA Journal 2010;8(12):1946
Question Number
On request from
European Commission