June 27, 2007

 

Europe adopts new BSE measures for import guidelines

 

 

The European Commission has adopted new measures in categorising countries according to BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) risk.

 

The country categorisation is a way to determine the import conditions for live animals, meat and meat products, in order to provide the necessary guarantees for human and animal health.

 

The regulation, which amends the TSE (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies) Regulation 999/2001, brings the EU categorisation system in accordance to the regulations of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

 

It entails listing all countries under one of three headings--negligible BSE risk, controlled BSE risk and undetermined BSE risk -- and shaping the trade rules according to each risk category.

 

Criteria for determining BSE status, rules on the collection of specified risk material and rules governing the import of live animals and animal products into the EU are also laid down in the regulation.

 

The new country categorisation system will replace the four-category Geographical BSE Risk (GBR) assessment procedure, which has been applied as a transitional measure up to now.

 

This transitional GBR categorisation is due to expire on 30 June 2007, and the TSE Roadmap states that the EU should then categorise countries according to the OIE headings. The new regulation will enter into force on 1 July 2007.

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