Europe approves BSE tests

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Feb 28, 2005
by WLJ
The European Commission approves new BSE tests, opening up competition in the field.
The European Commission has approved seven new rapid BSE tests:
• CediTect BSE test
• Enfer TSE Kit version 2.0
• IDEXX HerdChek BSE Antigen Test Kit (EIA)
• Institut Pourquier Speed'it BSE
• Prionics Check PrioSTRIP
• Roboscreen Beta Prion BSE EIA Test Kit
• Roche Applied Science PrionScreen.
The approval means that now 12 tests can be used to monitor BSE.
Following a laboratory evaluation by the Commission and subsequent field trials by the test producers under the supervision of the Joint Research Center, the European Food Safety Authority recommended that the seven new tests should be approved for use.
The tests are designed to detect BSE in brain material collected from animals at the slaughterhouse or which have died on the farm. Until now, tests designed to detect BSE in live animals have not been evaluated.
In the European Union, all healthy bovine cattle slaughtered at an age above 30 months and all fallen stock above 24 months have to be tested for BSE, with some derogations for some countries. The five previously approved tests can also be used to check for TSE in sheep and goats. Formal evaluations of additional tests for this purpose are ongoing. — WLJ