Mad cow disease testing continues / News / The Foreigner

Mad cow disease testing continues. Norwegian food safety officials still test 20,000 bovines for BSE every year on EU orders despite no cases of the disease in over 25 years. Over 200,000 samples of brain or spinal cord taken from Norwegian cows have been analysed, with the annual testing programme costing the country between seven and eight million kroner.  BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) is a transmissible neurodegenerative, fatal brain disease of cattle. Its incubation period is normally four to five years.

norwaymadcowdisease, bsetestingnorway, vcjdnorway



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Mad cow disease testing continues

Published on Thursday, 8th March, 2012 at 07:30 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Norwegian food safety officials still test 20,000 bovines for BSE every year on EU orders despite no cases of the disease in over 25 years.

Cows in a field
Cows in a field
Photo: ©2015 Michael Sandelson/The Foreigner


Over 200,000 samples of brain or spinal cord taken from Norwegian cows have been analysed, with the annual testing programme costing the country between seven and eight million kroner. 

BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) is a transmissible neurodegenerative, fatal brain disease of cattle. Its incubation period is normally four to five years.

It first came to scientists’ attention when cases started being reported in 1986. According to WHO (World Health Organisation) figures, 181,376 cases of BSE were confirmed in the UK between November 1986 and November 2002.

In the mid-90s, a confirmed link was established between the human BSE form, vCJD (Variant Creutzfeldt Jacobs Disease), and increasing numbers of cases, which had reached epidemic proportions by then.

EU monitoring activities were increased in response, but there have never been any cases of BSE in Norway, which introduced this measure in 2001. 

It is thought the UK epidemic’s origins were cattle feed prepared from bovine tissues, such as brain and spinal cord, contaminated with the BSE agent, believed to be a self-replicating protein called a prion.

Humans contract BSE by eating infected beef. Symptoms of vCJD include loss of co-ordination and balance, problems with movement, especially poor balance and jerkiness, problems seeing or hearing, memory and speech loss, and muscle paralysis. VCJD causes progressive brain damage and is fatal.

Whilst there were 29 CJD cases worldwide in 2011, head of the Norwegian Veterinary Institute’s epidemiological section, Edgar Brun, tells Aftenbladet, “I absolutely believe Norway can reduce its monitoring of mad cow disease without any danger to Norwegian consumers whatsoever.”



Published on Thursday, 8th March, 2012 at 07:30 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: norwaymadcowdisease, bsetestingnorway, vcjdnorway.





  
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