New designation for UK on BSE from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has officially declared that the UK can be classified ‘controlled risk’ for BSE at its recent General Session in Paris.
The OIE sets out risk-based criteria for the export of live bovines and bovine products. It agreed a new system of categorising exporting countries on the basis of BSE risk as ‘negligible’, ‘controlled’ or ‘undetermined’.
In March 2005, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) agreed that the UK was equivalent to OIE ‘moderate risk’ status for BSE under the previous categorisation system, linked to the number of BSE cases in the population. This recognition was key to the EU lifting the BSE-related ban on the export of UK cattle and beef in May 2006.
The UK applied for classification under the new system in March 2007. Confirmation of the UK’s ‘controlled risk’ status will support the opening of more international markets for the export of UK cattle and beef.