Reacting to a wave of consumer concern following the latest BSE crisis in France, the European Commission is to propose a significant extension of cattle-testing throughout the European Union.

Details will be worked out at a meeting of the EU Standing Veterinary
Committee tomorrow (Wednesday) and then considered by farm ministers in the Agriculture Council on November 20th.

A BSE test programme for the EU was agreed on earlier this year and is due to enter into force from 1 January 2001. This is targeted on animals at risk – i.e. those which show neurological symptoms – and is expected to cover around 170 000 tests.

But Commission officials are now talking about the testing of all animals aged 20 months, two years or 30 months. About 40 million animals, or nearly half the total EU cattle population of 82 million, are two or more years old.

Commission officials said the costs of extending tests to all animals of a certain age would be “substantial” but ministers would have to accept that restoring public faith in beef came first. The Commission has urged all EU Member States to start, and if possible extend, their own testing programmes without waiting for the new EU beef tests.

By Alan Osborn

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.