Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Statement: Welfare Effects to United Kingdom Cattle

Author: Written by Andrews, Anthony H

Journal: Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, Volume 1, Issue 4, 1998

Abstract: Although measures to control Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) had been in force in the United Kingdom (UK) for many years and had resulted in a marked decline in clinical cases, the announcement by the Secretary of State for Health on March 20, 1996, that a new variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) might be linked with exposure to BSE resulted in the introduction of several control measures. These measures included a scheme banning human consumption of meat from cattle who were more than 30 months old (OTMS), a subsidy for slaughter of calves, and additional inspections of abattoirs. The altered slaughter procedures and lack of rendering facilities meant an initial backlog of OTMS animals having to remain on farms. This placed pressures on accommodation and feed stocks, the latter being in short supply because of a poor grass growth the previous summer. Initially, the long delay before the removal of casualty animals from the farm resulted in increased summer mastitis problems for nonlactating cows. A ban on exports of calves to the European Union for veal production a legal trade that the general public found distasteful. Financial concerns disturbed and continue to disturb affected farmers.

Full text not available. Requests for reprints should be sent to Anthony H. Andrews, Acorn House, 25, Mardley Hill, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL6 0TT, England.