The France government has decided to stop testing cattle on mad cow disease (BSE). The measure applies to all animals born after 2002.
This is what the French Minister of Agriculture: Stéphane Le Foll communicated during the Sommet de 'Elevage in Cournon, near Clermont-Ferrand.
Research indicates that the first probable infections of BSE in cows occurred during the 1970's with two cases of BSE being identified in 1986. BSE possibly originated as a result of feeding cattle meat-and-bone meal that contained BSE-infected products from a spontaneously occurring case of BSE or scrapie-infected sheep products. The major epidemic in the UK in the early 90s led to the decision to introduce compulsory BSE testing of cattle in 2001.
The remaining tests cost € 40 million annually, but show little or no more positive results for BSE. Moreover, the organs that can be infected with BSE are already standardly removed. 'Consumption of beef is therefore without any risk,' said the minister.
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