20 UK Sheep May Have
BSE, Study Says
By Valerie Elliott
Countryside Editor
The Times - London

Scientists have claimed that a small number of sheep in Britain might be infected with BSE.
Research published in Science suggests for the first time that up to 1,500 sheep may have been infected with the disease at the height of the BSE epidemic in cattle in 1990. The scientific model, however, suggests that just 20 sheep out of a national flock of about 36 million are likely to have the disease this year.
The forecast is made by a team from Oxford University and the Institute of Animal Health; the latter is at the centre of an inquiry into bungled brains tests to establish if BSE exists in the national flock. The Government discovered last month that for four years scientists had been studying the brains of cattle instead of sheep. Two independent audits have been ordered.
Chris Bostock, director of the institute, was unavailable to comment on his research with the Oxford team, led by Rowland Kao. But the research states: "All indications are that current prevalence is low.
A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that the research matched previous laboratory tests that showed there was a "theoretical risk" of BSE in sheep.


This Site Served by TheHostPros