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From: TSS ()
Subject: Update on BSE Testing Implementation Review Group - Alison Gleadle PRO 07/02/01
Date: February 12, 2007 at 7:16 pm PST

Board meeting agenda: 15 February 2007
Monday 12 February 2007

Congress Centre, 28 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LS

PRO 07/02/01 AGENDA ITEM 4.1, 15 FEBRUARY 2007

UPDATE ON BSE TESTING IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW GROUP

Executive Summary

1. This paper updates the Board on the current status of the work of the

Implementation Review Group (IRG) set up by the Agency to oversee

implementation of the BSE testing system and summarises the recent incidents

in relation to the BSE testing controls.

2. The Board is invited:

• to note that, in the light of the recent incidents in relation to the testing

controls, a decision has been taken at executive level to continue the work of

IRG to enable it to review the causes of the incidents and ensure corrective

action is taken; and

• to endorse this decision.

TSE Division

Contacts:

Alison Gleadle Tel: 020 7276 8303 (GTN 7276 8303)

Email: alison.gleadle@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk

David Carruthers Tel: 020 7276 8305 (GTN 7276 8305)

Email: david.carruthers@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk

PRO 07/02/01 AGENDA ITEM 4.1, 15 FEBRUARY 2007

UPDATE ON BSE TESTING IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW GROUP

Issue

1. The need for the remit of the Implementation Review Group, which is overseeing

implementation of the BSE testing system, to be extended beyond the first 12

months of operation of the system.

Strategic Aims

2. This work links to the Agency’s aim to protect consumers by implementing and

enforcing proportionate and effective BSE controls.

Background

3. With effect from 7 November 2005, the over thirty months (OTM) rule, which

banned the entry of almost all such animals into the UK food supply, was

replaced by a BSE testing regime for OTM cattle. Since this change, OTM cattle

have become once more eligible for the food supply provided they test negative

for BSE. This move did not, however, apply to cattle born or reared in the UK

before 1 August 1996, which remain permanently excluded from the food supply.

4. The move to BSE testing followed agreement by the Board in August 2005, on

the basis of recommendations from the Independent Advisory Group chaired by

Professor Patrick Wall, that a reliable BSE testing regime for OTM cattle had

been successfully designed and trialled. At the same time, as recommended by

Professor Wall’s group, the Board agreed that an OTM testing Implementation

Review Group (IRG) be set up to oversee implementation of the BSE testing

system for its first 12 months of operation and to report.

5. In line with Professor Wall’s recommendations, the IRG is chaired by the FSA

and involves all the UK Government Departments concerned and the MHS. It

also includes two independent members representing consumers and the meat

industry.

6. IRG has so far held 15 meetings. It has kept a close watch on the flow of data

and reports from the continuing monitoring and audit of the testing system, and

has provided independent scrutiny of the management of the system. Its interim

report of the first 6 months of operation of the testing system was considered by

the Board at its July 2006 meeting.

7. A timeline of developments on OTM testing is annexed.

3

Current Status of IRG’s Work

8. IRG’s remit to oversee the first 12 months of operation of the BSE testing system

should have been completed in November 2006. A number of incidents have

however occurred recently in relation to the testing controls (particularly since

around the end of the first year of operation of the system) (see paragraph 12

below).

9. One of the tasks with which IRG was charged by the Board is ”to review

information and reports received (including audit reports) and agree action where

appropriate”. The Chief Executive has therefore decided to ask IRG to continue

its work so that it can review reports of these incidents and ensure that

appropriate corrective action is taken.

10. IRG has also still to consider a report on an independent verification of the FSA’s

audit of the OTM testing regime and to complete its overview of the cattle

identification arrangements.

11. This extension to IRG’s work has naturally delayed production of its final report to

the Board on implementation of the testing system. This will now be completed

once IRG has been able to consider the recent incidents and their implications for

the future operation of the testing system. The intention is that the report will then

be discussed by the Food Advisory Committees for Scotland, Wales and

Northern Ireland before it is put to the Board. This process is now expected to be

completed for the Board’s open meeting in June 2007.

The Recent Incidents

12. The recent incidents1 referred to above fall into 3 categories:

(a) apparent lack of correlation between brain sample and carcase

• ABP Newry (DNA testing indicated that 2 samples were not taken from the

corresponding carcases)

• West Devon Meat Ltd (one more brain sample sent to the laboratory for

BSE testing than the number of OTM cattle slaughtered – one of the

sample pots sent containing two samples)

(b) failure to take a brain sample from an OTM animal at the abattoir

• Dunbia – misidentification of an OTM animal at the abattoir as another

animal aged under 30 months

1 links to the FSA web report on each incident are included in the Annex

4

• Trott’s Family Abattoir – an OTM animal, delivered to an abattoir not

approved to slaughter OTM cattle, not recognised as OTM

• ABP Shrewsbury – an OTM animal, delivered to an abattoir approved to

slaughter OTM cattle, recognised as OTM but not sampled

(c) allowing an animal probably born before 1 August 1996 into the food supply

• “misidentified cow” case - probable misidentification on a farm in Powys of

an animal born before 1 August 1996 as one born after that date.

13. In the incidents in category (a), the meat from the affected animals was either

excluded from the food supply (ABP Newry) or retained and allowed into the food

supply only when confirmed negative for BSE (West Devon Meat). However the

incidents in categories (b) and (c) resulted in meat entering the food supply in

breach of the testing rules (in the “misidentifed cow” case, an animal born before

August 1996 was treated as an eligible OTM animal and tested negative for BSE;

the other cases resulted in OTM animals entering the food supply untested).

14. The full facts of all the cases are not yet known. One investigation has been

completed (ABP Newry) and three investigations are underway with a view to

determining whether or not any prosecution should be brought. Decisions on

whether the two remaining cases should be referred for investigation are awaited.

The prosecuting authorities are the respective territorial rural affairs departments.

The investigation report relating to ABP Newry has been released to IRG

following a decision by the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland not to

proceed, on the basis that on the evidence available a prosecution would be

unlikely to succeed. The reports of the investigations into the other incidents

remain confidential at this stage.

15. From the information that is available, however, it would appear that those

incidents which resulted in ineligible meat entering the food supply were not

caused by any major flaw in the testing system. Rather, the indications are that in

each case a number of checks in the system failed due to human error, any one

of which, if operated correctly, could have avoided the failure. It would appear

also that actions or omissions on the part of both the food business operator and

the supervising officials have contributed to the break down in control.

16. IRG will review each case in detail in order to ensure that the reasons for the

break down in control are clearly established, the lessons learned and

appropriate corrective action is implemented.

Other Developments

17. Following a meeting with stakeholders in January, at which Lord Rooker stressed

the importance of the OTM controls to all concerned, Defra have convened two

5

groups of representatives of the industry in UK, separately for the farming and

abattoir interests, to consider how further incidents could be avoided. The farming

group is to focus particularly on the issue of the continued consignment of cattle

born before August 1996 to fresh meat abattoirs (about 5 per week on average

throughout the UK). The first meetings of these groups are scheduled for

February.

Recommendation

18. The Board is invited to:

• note that, in the light of the recent incidents in relation to the testing controls,

a decision has been taken at executive level to continue the work of IRG to

enable it to review the causes of the incidents and ensure corrective action is

taken; and

• endorse this decision.

6

OTM Testing Implementation: TIME LINE

Event FSA Board

August 2005

Board agreed

�� to advise ministers that BSE testing

regime had been successfully

designed and trialled, and

�� to set up Implementation Review Group

to oversee first 12 months and an

independent audit of first 6 months of

OTM Testing

Paper and Annexes:

www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/fsa050802.pdf

www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/fsa050802a.pdf

www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/fsa050802b.pdf

www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/fsa050802c.pdf

www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/fsa050802d.pdf

Minutes (Agenda Item 4)

www.food.gov.uk/aboutus/ourboard/boardmeeting

s/boardmeetings2005/boardmeeting081505/board

mins15aug05

September 2005

�� Board agreed proposals for the

Implementation Review Group

Paper

www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/info050901.pdf

Minutes (Agenda Item 8)

www.food.gov.uk/aboutus/ourboard/boardmeeting

s/boardmeetings2005/boardmeeting091505/board

mins15sep05

7 November 2005

OTM Rule replaced by OTM Testing Regime

www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2005/nov/newbseinfo

December 2005

�� Progress Report.

Paper & Annex

www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/fsa051207.pdf

www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/fsa051207a.pdf

Minutes (para 76 and 77)

www.food.gov.uk/aboutus/ourboard/boardmeeting

s/boardmeetings2005/boardmeeting120805/minut

es8dec05

01.01.06

New rules for Emergency Slaughter Cattle

www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2005/oct/cattleguidance

23.01.06

OTMS replaced by OCDS

www.defra.gov.uk/farm/livestock/schemes/ocds.htm

03.05.06

EU export Ban lifted

www.defra.gov.uk/news/2006/060503a.htm

July 2006

Interim Report of the [Implementation]

Review Group, including independent

review of the first six months.

�� Board agreed to advise Ministers that

implementation had proceeded

satisfactorily.

Paper:

www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/fsa060706i.pdf

Minutes (Agenda Item 3.5)

www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/board13jul06mi

ns.pdf

7

Event FSA Board

July 2006

ABP Newry: Authenticity of two brain stem samples sent for

BSE testing: Monthly BSE controls report for July 2006

published 15.08.06

www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2006/aug/srmupdate070

8

10.08.06

Confirmation of First BSE +ve identified through the testing

regime for OTM cattle slaughtered for human consumption in

GB1

www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/bse/controlseradication/

barbinfo/180297.pdf

15.09.06

Confirmation of Second BSE +ve identified through the

testing regime for OTM cattle slaughtered for human

consumption in GB 1

www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/bse/controlseradication/

barbinfo/100999.pdf

25.09.06

Confirmation of Third BSE +ve identified through the testing

regime for OTM cattle slaughtered for human consumption in

GB 1

www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/bse/controlseradication/

barbinfo/120802.pdf

25.10.06

Dunbia - Untested OTM - Food Alert issued 10.11.06

www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2006/nov/dunbia

www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/alerts/2006/nov/dunbia

19.10.06

Ensors Abattoir Ltd – UK born/reared before 08/96

Misidentified cow - BSE Test -ve - BSE News Item published

29.01.07

www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2007/jan/miscow

01.11.06

Chris Trott & Family Abattoir – Untested OTMBSE

News Item published 12.12.06

www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2006/dec/untestedotm

24.11.06

West Devon Meat Ltd – Extra Sample -

Chief Executive’s Report to FSA Board 07.12.06

www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/harwoodboardreportdec06.

pdf#page=4

30.11.06

ABP Shrewsbury – Untested OTM –

BSE News Item published 24.01.07

www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2007/jan/untestedotm

1 Only BSE Test –ve OTM cattle may enter the food supply. As these cattle were BSE Test +ve, the

carcases and all associated body parts were disposed of by incineration, in addition to those of the

carcase before and two after on the slaughter.

4 Progress Reports, Information Items & Any Other Business 12:55


4.1 Update on BSE Testing Implementation Review Group - Alison Gleadle
PRO 07/02/01

http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/pro070201.pdf



Cloned Animals
INFO 07/02/01

http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/info070201.pdf

tss



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