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The European Union summary report on data of the surveillance of ruminants for the presence of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in 2015

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This report of EFSA presents the results of surveillance activities on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in bovine animals, sheep and goats as well as genotyping data in sheep, carried out in 2015 in the EU and in three non-Member States (non-MS). Since 2001, approximately 114 million cattle in the EU have been tested for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) according Regulation (EC) 999/2001. In 2015, 1.4 million bovine animals were tested and five cases were detected in four MS (Ireland: one case; Slovenia: one case; Spain: one case; and the United Kingdom: two cases) and one case was detected in Norway. Two cases (in Ireland and the United Kingdom) were affected by classical BSE and both cases were born after the EU-wide feed ban enforced in 2001. The remaining four cases were atypical BSE cases (three H-BSE type and one L-BSE type). Since 2002, approximately 8.4 million small ruminants have been tested during the EU-wide surveillance for scrapie. In 2015, 319,638 sheep and 135,857 goats were tested. In total, 641 scrapie cases in sheep were detected in 18 MS while 1,052 scrapie cases in goats were detected in nine MS, respectively. In two non-MS (Iceland and Norway), 40 scrapie cases in sheep were detected. Although in a number of MS the decrease in classical scrapie is clear, at the EU level there is no clear decreasing trend in the occurrence of scrapie in small ruminants. Results obtained from genotyping in sheep confirm that cases of classical scrapie are clustered among certain genotypes, and animals with these genotypes seem to account for less than 20% of the European randomly sampled sheep population. In total, 580 samples from species other than domestic ruminants were tested for TSE in three MS, all with negative results.