Age Increase Confirmed For Vertebral Column Removal

UK - On Tuesday (22 April) the European Commission raised the age limit at which the vertebral column must be removed from slaughtered cattle from 24 to 30 months. According to a Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) bulletin, the New Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou commented that the decision reflects the progress Europe has made in the battle against BSE.
calendar icon 28 April 2008
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This change to the Specified Risk Material (SRM) rules is in keeping with the TSE roadmap and follows advice that the average age of BSE cases is getting much older, entailing negligible risk to public health. The new rules bring EU legislation into line with the international standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The EU Commission believes the new higher age limit will enable farmers and meat processors to operate more competitively by reducing the amount of SRM waste created, which in turn will reduce the cost of destroying it. The number of BSE cases registered in EU member states fell by 40 per cent to just 315 cases 2006, which was a far cry from the 37,000 cases reported in 1992, when the disease was at its peak.

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