[The eradication of BSE: a touch stone for the veterinary services].

Abstract

The eradication of BSE is proving to be a lengthy task. Undisputedly, it has become one of the highest priority tasks of the Veterinary Services in Europe since the disease first occurred in the mid eighties. However, the effects of the ongoing eradication effort also impair important economic agricultural sectors. Risk analysis has never before been such a critical tool in the decision-making processes for eradication of animal diseases, despite the problem that many risk analyses are being conducted in the face of incomplete knowledge about BSE. In the focus are the measures minimizing the risk for humans (such as the ban on specified risk material) and the measures implemented to prevent the spread of the disease in animals with the ban on feeding meat and bone meal to ruminants. Due to the long incubation period, implementation of insufficient measures may not be noticed for many years. Implementation of drastic measures is needed, if the eradication of the disease is to be pursued purposefully.

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