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From: TSS ()
Subject: Mad Cow Disease in Netherlands
Date: March 3, 2006 at 9:16 am PST

03.03.2006 Friday - ISTANBUL 19:30

Mad Cow Disease in Netherlands
By Anadolu News Agency (aa), Amsterdam
Published: Friday, March 03, 2006

An eight-year-old cow has been diagnosed with the mad cow disease (Bovine Spongiforme Encephalopathy) in the Netherlands.

Dutch Ministry of Agriculture announced the disease was detected in a farm in the town of Dinkelland in Overijssel province after tests were conducted on a cow already slaughtered.

Mad cow was detected in the other cows at the same farm as well. This is the second case in the Netherlands this year, making the total number of mad cow diseases 82 since 1997.


Measures taken by the Dutch Government
Removal of risk material
Ban on animal protein
Compulsory BSE test

For some years now the Netherlands has been taking measures to prevent BSE (Bovine Spongiforme Encephalopathy) in its cattle herd. All EU measures were implemented, though the Netherlands has also anticipated European regulation and introduced additional measures of its own.
In spite of all these efforts the Netherlands has not been free of BSE. It was first diagnosed in the Netherlands in 1997. See the complete list of confirmed cases in the section Cases of BSE in the Netherlands.

Measures taken by the Dutch Government
Over the years a broad package of measures has been built up to combat BSE. This is partly aimed at food safety, partly at the eradication of BSE. These measures follow the recommendations of the Office International des Epizoties (OIE), and Decisions of the European Union.
The measures involve:

Tracking down diseased or suspect cattle. Since 1989 it is been compulsory for owners and veterinarians to report any cattle that show symptoms of BSE to the authorities.
Evaluation of the animal´s health at the slaughterhouse, prior to slaughter.
Compulsory removal of risk material on slaughter. This measure was introduced in the Netherlands in 1997. It has applied to all European Member States since 1 October 2000.
Treatment of animal by-products used in animal feed at 133°C and 3 bar during 20 min. since the seventies.
A ban on the use of animal protein in animal feed for domestic farm animals (such as cattle).
Testing for BSE on all slaughtered cattle older than 30 months.
Further information on the most important measures is given below.

Removal of risk material
The most important measure taken to protect the consumer against BSE is the decision that so-called risk material must be removed in the slaughterhouse. The disease-causing prions do not occur in the whole animal. They are concentrated in the brains, spinal cord and some other risk material. This material is removed on slaughter and incinerated, and so eliminated from the food chain. Disease-causing organisms have never been found in meat taken from cattle muscle (steak, etc.).
The removal of risk material has been compulsory since 1997.

Ban on animal protein
The aim is to eliminate BSE by removing the most important source of infection (infected animal protein).
Since 1989 there has been a ban in the Netherlands on the use of remains of ruminants in ruminant feed (cattle, sheep and goats). This ban has been tightened on a number of occasions
Since 1994 no animal protein originating from mammals (previously ruminants) may be used in ruminant feed.
Since 1999 the production of feed for ruminants and feed for non-ruminants containing animal protein is totally separated. This measures prevents any contamination of feed for ruminants with animal protein
Since 1 January 2001 feed containing animal protein from mammals is not only banned for ruminants, but also for all domestic farm animals, such as pigs and chickens.

Compulsory BSE test
From 1 January 2001 all cattle older than 30 months presented for slaughter are subjected to a rapid BSE test, approved by the European Commission. In order to carry out these tests a piece of brain tissue is removed from the cattle. If the result is positive the final diagnosis is made by traditional microscopic study of brain tissue, according to OIE.
In addition to the testing of cattle older than 30 months, risk material is removed from slaughtered cattle intended for human consumption.


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