The Office International des Épizooties (OIE), the world animal health organisation, has warned that atypical cases of BSE and scrapie have been discovered in France and specialists are conducting follow-up studies.

Regarding the six BSE cases discovered during routine checks by the virology unit of the French Agency for Food Safety, the OIE said: “Electrophoretic profiles observed in the confirmatory tests were different from those observed in classical BSE cases”.

The scrapie discovery emerged during routine genotyping of three ewes. In both instances, “inoculation of samples into laboratory animals is currently under way to determine more accurately the biological characteristics of these isolates,” said the OIE.