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UK could stop testing for BSE

THE FOOD Standards Agency has made a recommendation to the UK government following a European Commission proposal to allow some states to decide to stop testing cattle for BSE.

The FSA says that the regime is no longer necessary as other safeguards, including the removal of the specified risk material at slaughter and banning animal protein in cattle feed, should be sufficient to protect consumers.

As disease incidence has fallen, BSE testing requirements across Europe have reduced. Currently, all healthy cattle aged over 72 months entering the food chain are tested for BSE.

Following agreement at the FSA board meeting, it will recommend to government that any testing of healthy cattle entering the food chain is no longer necessary as long as the other existing safety controls continued to be enforced vigilantly.

(For the full story see The Scottish Farmer this week, December 15 2012)

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