U.S. BSE status about to improve

The United States’ BSE classification status will be upgraded to negligible by the World Organization for Animal Health(OIE) later this spring.

The OIE determines a country’s BSE risk status based on steps the country has taken to manage any disease risk, including a ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban, import controls and surveillance. At slaughter, specified risk materials, those organs and glands believed to harbour the disease from cattle older than 30 months are removed and destroyed to prevent them from entering the feed system or food chain.

Under OIE criteria, a country can be categorized as negligible risk if it can demonstrate that it meets OIE standards in the areas listed above and it has never had a BSE case in a domestic animal or no infection in domestic animals born more than 11 years ago.

Canada has controlled risk status. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported the last BSE case in a six-year-old Alberta dairy cow in February 2011.

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