Control Measures

Public health control measures, such as surveillance, culling sick animals, or banning specified risk materials, have been instituted in many countries, particularly in those with indigenous cases of confirmed BSE, in order to prevent potentially BSE-infected tissues from entering the human food supply.

The most stringent control measures include a UK program that excludes all animals more than 30 months of age from the human food and animal feed supplies. The program appears to be highly effective.

In June 2000, the European Union Commission on Food Safety and Animal Welfare strengthened the European Union’s BSE control measures by requiring all member states to remove specified risk materials from animal feed and human food chains as of October 1, 2000; such bans had already been instituted in most member states. Other control measures include banning the use of mechanically recovered meat from the vertebral column of cattle, sheep, and goats for human food and BSE testing of all cattle more than 30 months of age destined for human consumption.

See also Preventing vCJD (Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease)