News last update:6 Aug 2012

EU raises BSE cattle testing age

EU animal health experts increased the minimum age for testing cattle.

The testing age for mad cow disease in the EU's 15 'older' countries has been raised to 48 months, given fewer cases of the brain-wasting virus, the EU executive stated on Tuesday this week.

At risk of BSE
Currently all healthy slaughtered cattle aged over 30 months and all cattle above 24 months deemed to be at risk of catching bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) must be tested.

In a statement, experts have now agreed that the new age limit for BSE testing of healthy slaughtered and at-risk cattle will be 48 months, said the European Commission.

With the go-ahead of the European Parliament, the revised rule should come into effect in January 2009.

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