Revision of the Norwegian annual monitoring programme for BSE
This Scientific Report of EFSA provides scientific and technical assistance to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Surveillance Authority in evaluating i) if the Norwegian continuous use of fishmeal in feed for ruminants until 30 April 2010 has had an impact on the overall risk of BSE in the country; and ii) if a proposed Norwegian revised annual monitoring programme for BSE allows the detection of BSE with a yearly design prevalence of at least one case per 100,000 in the adult population at a confidence level of 95%. Data related to the implementation of the Norwegian feed ban were collected and assessed. The Cattle TSE Monitoring Model (C-TSEMM) was used in order to answer the second term of reference of the mandate received. It is concluded that the use of fishmeal in feed for ruminants might have had a potential impact on the risk of cattle exposure to BSE in Norway. While it is not possible to quantitatively assess this risk, the lack of detection of BSE cases by the Norwegian monitoring system (in spite of its sensitivity limits) suggests that BSE has not significantly spread in the Norwegian cattle population. The proposed revised Norwegian BSE monitoring regime would not be able to meet a yearly design prevalence of at least one case per 100,000 in the adult cattle population at a confidence level of 95%. Moreover, in statistical terms it is not feasible for Norway to achieve the requested design prevalence. It is furthermore highlighted that passing from a sample-based to an exhaustive monitoring scheme (i.e. testing all animals over a certain age that are slaughtered or dead) would provide the most sensitive BSE surveillance system currently possible.