Mad Cow In Goats Update

From Patricia Doyle, PhD
From ProMED-mail
SourceABC Rural, Australia, 2 Feb 2005
Australian goats could be tested for BSE, after confirmation that a goat in France has contracted the disease. It's taken 3 years to confirm that mad cow disease -- normally found in cattle -- has jumped species.
Dr Greg Curran, from the National Disease Outbreak Response team, says increased testing may be needed to protect Australian markets. "Certainly with cattle and with sheep there is a surveillance program, and that's been going on for quite a few years now, but we haven't been able to look at the problems in goats. We might add goats to the group of animals that's checked for BSE, now that this discovery's been made in Europe."
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005
From: ProMED-mail
Source: Food navigation com, 2 Feb 2005
EU food agency to explore 'mad goat' risk
Current science finds no link between goat meat and meat product consumption and variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (vCJD). But a group of experts calls for new research, to fully understand the risk this meat may pose to the food chain, and the consumer. The move follows confirmation earlier this week that mad cow disease had been identified in a goat in France. This is the 1st case of the disease identified in an animal other than cattle.
Following the discovery, a group of scientists at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are now recommending that more information is needed to assess the significance of the single French case.
The EFSA panel on biological hazards (BIOHAZ) this week underlined the need to carry out a quantitative risk assessment concerning BSE-related risks associated with the consumption of goat meat and goat meat products.
They expect to complete the assessment by July 2005, if pertinent data become available.
Assessing the health risk of goats milk and milk derivatives -- for example, lactoferrin and lactose -- in November [2004], the panel [said] such products are "unlikely to present any risk of TSE contamination provided that milk is sourced from clinically healthy animals."
BSE, also known as mad cow disease, belongs to the group of diseases that also include Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in man and scrapie in sheep and goats. These diseases lead to a degeneration of brain tissue which takes on a typical spongy appearance.
1st identified in 1986 in the UK, 180 000 cases of BSE have since been diagnosed there alone and only 4 [Sic; see comment] out of the 25 EU member states have not yet declared any cases. BSE has affected the entire beef food chain, from producer to consumer.
A recent report from the European Association of Animal Production estimates the cost of BSE to EU15 (prior to accession) member states at more than 90 billion Euros [USD 117 billion]. In addition, the BSE crisis has had a significant impact on public trust in government and governmental scientific advice.
Indeed, the newly created European Food Safety Authority formed the hub of Europe's white paper on food safety. Cleared in the 1990s, the legislation found its roots in the string of food safety crises, such as BSE, in Europe.
While it has been established that small ruminants can also be infected in experiments with BSE, up to now, there are no signs of natural infection. The feeding of meat-and-bone meal -- linked to BSE development in cattle -- is under discussion as the possible cause of the only confirmed case of BSE infection in the goat.
The goat in question was already born before the ban on the feeding of meat-and-bone meal. It was slaughtered in 2002. Other animals in the herd were also examined, but they all tested negative.
[7 EU member states have not yet declared any cases of BSE. They are Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Sweden. Sweden has been classified by the EU as a GBR II country, namely a country where the presence of one or more cattle clinically or pre-clinically infected with the BSE agent is "Unlikely but not excluded". The other 6 mentioned countries are classified as GBR III, namely countries where the presence of one or more cattle clinically or pre-clinically infected with the BSE agent is "Likely but not confirmed". For further details on GBR (EU's Geographic BSE risk classification system) see posting 20030529.1311.- Mod.AS]
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005
From: ProMED-mail
Source: New Scientist, 3 Feb 2005
Goat found infected with BSE
A French goat has been confirmed as the 1st food animal other than a cow to catch BSE. The finding deepens fears that the disease is lurking undetected in European sheep, which are farmed in a similar way.
The goat may have developed the disease before the European Union banned potentially infected feed in 2001. Unlike cattle, sheep and goats are thought to be able to transmit BSE to each other, and this would keep the disease circulating despite the feed ban. Also unlike cattle, both species carry the infection in muscle, making their meat potentially more dangerous.
There are further fears that scrapie, a BSE-like disease widespread in Europe, might have masked the presence of BSE in sheep and goats. So animals that appear to have scrapie are now being randomly tested for BSE. The European Commission aims to quadruple the number of tests to assess the extent of any infection.
Before cattle remains were banned in animal feed, French goats might have run a higher risk of acquiring BSE than sheep or goats elsewhere in Europe. Cattle remains were used as a protein supplement, which is needed mainly by animals that are heavily milked. Goat's cheese is a huge industry in France. Sheep and goats might have been less likely to be affected in the UK, where they are rarely kept for their milk. [This might be true in relation to sheep, but goats, in the UK -- as elsewhere in Europe, are kept for milk production. - Mod.AS]
****** [4] Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005
From: ProMED-mail <>
Source: EU Press release IP/05/132, 2 Feb 2005 [edited]
1st case of BSE in a goat: Member States support Commission proposal for increased testing
The Member States today voted in favour of the European Commission's proposal to step up testing for BSE in the EU goat population, following the confirmation last week of the 1st case of BSE found in a goat. The testing scheme was proposed by the Commission to determine if this BSE case represents an isolated incident or if further measures need to be taken. The situation will be closely monitored and reviewed at the latest after 6 months, based on the results of the increased testing and the outcome of a quantitative risk assessment on the safety of goat meat currently being carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Markos Kyprianou, EU Commissioner responsible for Health and Consumer Protection, said "Our priority is to safeguard the health of Europe's citizens, and I therefore want to act quickly to determine the significance of this case. That is why we are significantly stepping up the level of testing. We will monitor the situation closely and review all the data and scientific advice again in 6 months."
The Commission is proposing increased testing in goats for at least 6 months (185 000 tests of healthy goats in the EU and 15 000 goats dead on farm) to determine if this is an isolated incident. The extent of the monitoring programme will be based on the goat population in each Member State and will focus primarily on Member States where BSE is present in the cattle population. All confirmed TSE cases will be subjected to a 3-step testing scheme, already in use, which will make it possible to differentiate between scrapie and BSE. The Commission will co-finance this increased testing.
Following the findings by a research group in France of a suspected BSE infection in a goat, the European Commission immediately made the findings public on 28 Oct 2004. The case was confirmed on 28 Jan 2005 and today the Commission presented its proposal for increased testing to the Standing Committee for the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH), representing the Member States. This proposal will now formally be adopted by the European Commission in the coming days and will enter into force immediately after publication in the Official Journal.
The Annex gives an indication of the number of tests to be carried out in the Member States. This information is only indicative, based on the number of animals slaughtered in each Member State in 2004, to show the approximate distribution across the Member States: actual numbers will vary.
Annex: Monitoring of healthy slaughtered goats and fallen stock (6 months)
Indicative number of samples: healthy slaughtered goats; dead goats on farm.
Austria: 2,500; 100 (**)
Belgium: 160 (*); 100 (**)
Cyprus: 2500; 500
Czech Republic: 40 (*); 100 (**)
Germany: 650 (*); 500
Denmark: 100 (*); 100 (**)
Estonia: 210 (*); 100 (**)
Greece: 10 000; 5000
Spain: 62 750; 5000
Finland: 30 (*); 100 (**)
France: 46 500; 5000
Hungary: 300 (*); 500
Ireland: 450 (*); 100 (**)
Italy: 30 000; 5000
Luxembourg: 120 (*); 100 (**)
Lithuania: 1360 (*); 100 (**)
Latvia: 250 (*); 100 (**)
Malta: 30 (*); 100 (**)
Netherlands: 2400 (*); 500
Poland: 8600 (*); 500
Portugal: 6000 (*); 1500
Sweden: 60 (*); 100 (**)
Slovakia: 240 (*); 100 (**)
Slovenia: 10 (*); 100 (**)
UK: 780 (*); 500
Total EU 25: 176 040; 25 900
(*) 100 percent testing of healthy slaughtered animals
(**) 100 percent testing up to 100
[Scrapie is known to have been under-reported for decades due to the reluctance of breeders of sheep (and goats) to admit even slight suspicions of cases in their flocks. The main reason was the stigma of scrapie (cum tremblente, rida, traberkrankheit) being hereditary. There will be no problem in achieving the planned number of tests in healthy animals, at slaughterhouses; getting the right number of appropriate animals re: "dead-on-farm" goats might be more complex. The odds of detecting TSE are significantly lower in randomly tested healthy animals than in clinically suspected or dead-on-farm animals. - Mod.AS]
[see also:
BSE, goat - France 2002 (02): OIE 20050201.0347
BSE, goat - France 2002: Conf. 20050128.0312
TSE, goats - EU: 1st semester, 2004 20050119.0180
BSE - Canada: Geographical BSE-Risk 20030529.1311
BSE, goats - France 2002 (02): susp 20041119.3097
BSE, goats - France 2002 (03): susp 20041211.3279
BSE, goats - France 2002: susp. 20041030.2929
BSE, atypical - France: OIE 20040201.0391
BSE, potential for emergence in sheep 20020106.3180
BSE, potential for emergence in sheep - EU (02) 20020624.4589
BSE, potential for emergence in sheep - EU 20020220.3596
BSE, potential for emergence in sheep - France 20020314.3742
BSE, potential for emergence in sheep: OIE 20020131.3444
BSE? Sheep - USA (Vermont) 20020412.3937
BSE, sheep (model) - UK 20011129.2907
BSE, sheep - UK: contingency plan 20011001.2384
BSE, testing of sheep ongoing - UK 20011019.2574]
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
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