The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) declared Brazil free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) with vaccination on Thursday, opening new export prospects for the world’s largest beef exporter. The OIE already considered most of Brazil to be free of foot-and-mouth with vaccination. The declaration, which the government had been expecting since the start of the year, extends certification to the whole country.
Saudi Arabia has suspended imports of Brazilian beef, Brazil’s agriculture ministry said Tuesday, and became the largest country to stop purchases after confirmation of a 2010 case of atypical mad cow disease.
A scientific commission from the World Organization for Animal Health, OIE, will commence in February to study the case of atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, BSE, reported in the south of Brazil among a herd of animals fed on grassland.
The first reliable blood test for the fatal Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) – said to be 100,000 times more accurate than the current method – has been developed by British scientists.
Brazilian health officials said this week that a suspected case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a fatal illness that destroys brain tissue, probably wasn’t caused by eating beef of an animal infected with the mad cow sickness.
Cattle infected with mad cow disease give off a tell-tale glow in their eyes, according to new research published in the journal Analytical Chemistry. In future, the discovery could lead to a long-sought test to detect infection with the agent that causes mad cow disease, preventing it from spreading throughout the food supply for humans.
The nightmare of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis – or Mad Cow Disease) is mercifully almost forgotten in the EU now. In total almost 200,000 cases of BSE were discovered in the EU. But there were only 67 cases last year and those were in very old animals probably infected many years ago.