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A EU program of mass cattle slaughtering to prevent the spread of BSE is likely to depress GDP throughout the European Union by approximately 0.1%, economists are predicting. Plans to destroy all cattle over 30 months old that have not been tested for BSE, are expected to begin this month. This is likely to involve the slaughter of two million animals, at a cost of €1bn, while testing for the disease will become compulsory as of July 2001.