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Low incidence of TSEs in the EU, says EFSA report

EFSA has published its first EU summary report on the monitoring of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) in cattle, sheep and goats. Previously, the annual reports on TSEs were compiled by the European Commission.

TSEs are a group of diseases that affect the brain and nervous system of humans and animals.  With the exception of Classical BSE, there is no scientific evidence that other TSEs can be transmitted to humans.

A low number of BSE cases in cattle were detected in EU Member States, none of which entered the food chain.

Some of the main findings of the report are:

  • Five cases of BSE in cattle have been reported in the EU, out of about 1.4 million animals tested.
  • 641 cases of scrapie in sheep (out of 319,638 tested) and 1,052 in goats have been reported (out of 135,857 tested) in the EU.

This report provides results on data collected by all EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland for 2015 on the occurrence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and scrapie in sheep and goats – two forms of TSEs.

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