Tests carried out by the European Union’s (EU) reference laboratory in Weybridge, England, into three sheep that died with suspected BSE-like symptoms have not proved the disease has effectively jumped species from bovine livestock.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said that one test, called the ‘discriminatory western blot’, suggested that the two French and one Cypriot sheep did die from a BSE-like disease, but two other tests delivered conflicting results.

One test, conducted on the French sheep, suggested they died of scrapie, while another performed on the Cyprus sheep concluded it died of something other than BSE or scrapie.

Long-term detailed examinations will now be staged, said EFSA.