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From: TSS ()
Subject: DEFRA RESPONDS TO INDEPENDENT REVIEW ON BSE CONTROLS May 09, 2006
Date: May 9, 2006 at 2:28 pm PST



Date: May 09, 2006 Time: 12:15

DEFRA RESPONDS TO INDEPENDENT REVIEW ON BSE CONTROLS

Recommendations put forward following an independent review of the UK's BSE controls were today largely accepted.

The independent review was chaired by Professor William Hill FRS, of the University of Edinburgh, and examined the possible reasons for the cases of BSE occurring since the reinforced feed ban in 1996 together with the control measures being applied by the Government.

Professor Hill's review, published in July 2005, found controls put in place to eliminate BSE in cattle are soundly based. It reconfirmed the elimination of food-borne sources to be the key to the eradication of BSE and recommended risk-based controls and monitoring should be maintained on animals and feed.

Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Debby Reynolds, said, "Professor Hill's review concluded that the measures we have in place are sound and that no major issues have been overlooked. Defra will continue the rigorous application of these controls and will develop them as necessary to respond to any new evidence on the nature or transmission of the disease."

Notes for Editors

1. Publication of the independent review of BSE cases born since August 1996 was announced on 7 July 2005.

2. Defra's response is available on the Defra website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/bse/pdf/hill-response_annex1.pdf

3. Further details of the regulations in place relating to feed controls, statistics on BARB cases and other information can be found on the Defra website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/bse

Public enquiries 08459 335577;
Press notices are available on our website www.defra.gov.uk Defra's aim is sustainable development

To subscribe or unsubscribe to Defra's mailing list go to: http://www.gnn.gov.uk/ Once on the GNN website see Sign up

Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR
Website www.defra.gov.uk


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296/05
7 July 2005

INDEPENDENT REPORT INTO BSE CONTROLS PUBLISHED

An independent review has found controls put in place to eliminate BSE in cattle are soundly based.

The review by Professor William Hill FRS, of the University of Edinburgh, examined the possible reasons for the cases of BSE occurring since the reinforced feed ban in 1996 together with the control measures being applied by the government.

It reconfirmed the elimination of food-borne sources to be the key to the eradication of BSE and recommended risk-based controls and monitoring should be maintained on animals and feed.

However, the report recommended measures should be tightened up wherever possible both in the UK and elsewhere that the UK can influence.

In view of the long incubation of BSE in some animals, long-term continued vigilance is necessary, the report said, but no specific new measures were recommended.

Chief veterinary officer, Debby Reynolds, said: "This report reassures us the measures we have in place are sound, meet our objective of eliminating BSE from cattle in the UK and confirm no major issues have been neglected.

"The removal of infected animals and the elimination of food borne sources of transmission remain the key to the eradication of BSE.

"Defra will continue the rigorous application of these controls and maintain vigilance in respect of cases which have been born since the introduction of the reinforced feed ban in August 1996 (BARBs).

"We expect the tightening of feed controls across the EU in 2001 to significantly contribute to our objectives."


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Notes for editors

1. The independent review of BSE cases born since August 1996 requested by the Chief Veterinary Officer was announced in a Defra Press Release on 23 November 2004.

2. Professor William Hill of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh presented his Report to the CVO in mid-June and it was considered by the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) on 30 June.

3. The full Report is available on the Defra website at: www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/bse/index.html.

4. Further details of the regulations in place relating to feed controls, statistics on BARB cases and other information can be found on the Defra website at: www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/bse/index.html.


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END

Public Enquiries: 08459 335577
Press Notices available via Defra website
www.defra.gov.uk
Defra's aim is sustainable development

http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2005/050707a.htm

=========================================

471/04
23 November 2004

INDEPENDENT EXPERT TO REVIEW DEFRA'S WORK ON BSE CASES BORN SINCE 1 AUGUST 1996 IN THE UK


Professor William Hill FRS, Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences of the University of Edinburgh has been appointed by Defra to carry out an independent review of their work on BSE cases born since 1 August 1996 in the UK.

The Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds said, "I am delighted that Professor Hill has agreed to undertake this review for us. There has been enormous progress in reducing the number of cattle infected with BSE in the UK since the first case was found in 1986. Much of this can be attributed to the controls that were put in place to prevent the spread of the disease in meat and bone meal, an ingredient that was used extensively in animal feed prior to 1988. These controls have gradually been tightened over ensuing years and in the UK particularly so since 1 August 1996.

Despite this we have had 99 cases of BSE born since 1 August 1996. The current advice, which has been considered by both SEAC and a European scientific advisory committee, is that feed contamination still remains the most plausible explanation, as the feed controls in some parts of Europe were not introduced until 2001. We have work in place to test this theory. However, there are also other possible explanations for at least some of these cases. We want to eradicate this disease and it is important for us to be sure that we are not overlooking any important factors and that the work we are doing is comprehensive and scientifically sound.

We have therefore invited Professor Hill to take a look at what we are doing. We have deliberately chosen someone who is eminent in his own field but who has not been involved in TSE work before. He can be expected to probe and challenge the evidence. If we can meet this challenge it will give us reassurance that we have not overlooked anything that might prevent us from getting rid of the disease by the end of 2010. If we have overlooked something it will give us time to put in place some additional studies.

I have asked Professor Hill to report his findings to me within the next six months and I will ask SEAC to consider these."

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Notes for editors

1. Professor William Hill OBE, BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc, FRSE, FRS is Emeritus Professor of Animal Genetics at the School of Biological sciences of the University of Edinburgh. His group undertakes theoretical and experimental studies on population and quantitative genetics and on their application to animal improvement. Professor Hill was formerly Dean and Provost of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, he has consulted extensively in the UK animal breeding industry and chaired Defra's National Consultative Committee on Animal Genetic Resources. He is also an editor of Genetical Research and senior editor designate of Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B.

2. The hypothesis that cases born after the reinforced feed ban (BARBs) are due to an exogenous feed source arising from the perfectly legal handling and shipment of meat and bone meal in European ports up to January 2001 comes from John Wilesmith following a detailed analysis of epidemiological data on the first 59 cases. This analysis has been considered by the EU's Scientific Steering Committee and more recently by EFSA.

3. A SEAC ad-hoc group is overseeing a case control study the primary objective of which is to test this hypothesis. In addition Defra is funding work to investigate the genetic homogeneity of the PrP gene in BARB cases. Professor Hill will consider all of this work as part of his remit.

4. Further details of the legislation in place relating to feed controls and information on BARB cases can be found on the Defra website at www.defra.gov.uk /animalh/bse/controls-eradication/feed-ban.html.


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END

Public Enquiries: 08459 335577
Press Notices available via Defra website
www.defra.gov.uk

http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2004/041123a.htm

INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE ORIGIN OF BARB CASES

http://www.seac.gov.uk/papers/seac86-3.pdf

SEQUENCING PRNP OF BARB CASES

ISSUE

1. To inform the committee about two studies examining the DNA sequence

of regions of PRNP (the gene that codes for the prion protein) of BARB

cases and controls.

http://www.seac.gov.uk/papers/88-4.pdf

TSS




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