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China Declared Negligible Risk of BSE

05 June 2014

CHINA - The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) granted China negligible bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) risk disease status at the third Plenary Meeting of the 82th General Session in Paris.

Dr Karin Schwabenbauer, President of the Assembly and Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE issued the certificate and extended congratulations to the Chinese delegation.

This event indicates the recognition of international community for China's effective animal disease control system, and the world-leading expertise on BSE prevention. It is believed that the designation will play an important role in ensuring animal-derived food safety and public health in China, and facilitating beef trade in international market.

BSE, or "mad cow disease" is a progressive neurological disorder of cattle that results from infection by an unusual transmissible agent called a prion.

In order to mitigate BSE-related risks towards public health, the OIE encourages its members to enhance their risk control capacity and conduct risk assessment in this regard.

According to the OIE's classification, there are three BSE risk status, namely undetermined risk, controlled risk and negligible risk.

Up to now there have been no BSE cases detected in China. In order to prevent BSE transmission from abroad, the Ministry of Agriculture of China has adopted the following measures for BSE risk control since 1990:

  • MOA set up the National Reference Laboratory and specialist laboratories on BSE, established OIE-acknowledged diagnosis methods and a quality standard system, and has carried out monitoring activities across the country for 12 years.
  • With joint efforts of other competent authorities, MOA has imposed bans on the import of meat and bone meal, bone meal and other specified risk materials derived from ruminant animals from infected countries and regions.
  • MOA reinforced its supervision and regulation over feed industry.

For example, MOA issued restrictions on importing feeds of animal origin from high-risk areas in1999, and placed a comprehensive ban on using feeds of animal origin for ruminants in 2001.

In September 2013, the MOA submitted the application for negligible BSE risk status to OIE.

And based on the results of strict assessments, the OIE determined to grant China the negligible status with a unanimous vote at the 82th General Session.

China also received the certificate for being free from African Horse Sickness at this Session.


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