Low incidence of TSEs in the EU, EFSA confirms
EFSA has published its second EU summary report on the monitoring of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).
TSEs are a group of diseases that affect the brain and nervous system of humans and animals. These include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), scrapie and chronic wasting disease (CWD). With the exception of classical BSE, there is no scientific evidence that TSEs can be transmitted to humans.
This report provides results on data collected by all EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland for 2016.
Main findings are:
- Five cases of BSE in cattle (out of 1,352,585 animals tested) in the EU – none of which entered the food chain. Only one of these was classified as classical BSE. The animal was born after the EU ban on the use of animal proteins in livestock feed was enforced in 2001.
- 685 cases of scrapie in sheep (out of 286,351 tested) and 634 in goats (out of 110,832 tested) in the EU.
- No cases of CWD in any of the 2,712 cervids tested (e.g. reindeer, elk and moose) in the EU. However, five cases of CWD were reported in Norway: three in wild reindeer and two in moose.
For the first time since the BSE epidemic started and BSE cases have been reported, the UK did not report any cases of the disease.