Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

bse_ austria 12_18_01

CEI LogoBovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, Austria

Impact Worksheet, December 18, 2001


Summary: The first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Austria was confirmed on December 13, 2001. The six-year old cow presented no clinical signs and was detected through routine BSE surveillance at slaughter. In 1990, Austria had banned feeding of meat-and-bone meal to cattle and sheep. In January 2001, Austria began testing all slaughter cattle over 30 months of age for BSE.

Austria had almost 2.2 million cattle in 2001 and accounted for 1.6 percent of the world’s live cattle exports in 1999. Most of the live cattle exports in 1999 went to Italy and Germany. Austria accounted for 1.1 percent of the world’s beef and veal exports in 1999. In rank order, destination countries were Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Russia, and Belgium. Austria also exports about 34,000 metric tons of meat-and-bone meal annually, primarily to the Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, and Germany.

In December 1997, APHIS prohibited the importation of live ruminants and most ruminant products from all of Europe including Austria. In December 2000, import restrictions regarding BSE were expanded by prohibiting all imports of rendered animal protein products, regardless of species, from Europe. Between 1998 and June 2001, US imports from Austria included goat meat, animal feeds, and sausage. The sausage and animals feeds were from unspecified species.

How extensive is the outbreak of BSE in Austria, and what was Austria’s disease status prior to the outbreak?

The first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Austria was confirmed on December 13, 2001. The six-year old cow presented no clinical signs and was detected through routine BSE surveillance at slaughter. The animal was from a 60-cattle beef and dairy operation in the district of Gmünd in northeastern Austria. Both the affected operation and the slaughterhouse have been shut down pending further testing on the other cattle, feeds, and milk replacer. Possible causes speculated for the BSE transmission include imported meat-and-bone meal that was illegally fed to cattle, or imported calf milk replacer that had beef tallow as an ingredient.

Source: OIE Disease Information Report; Reuters, Dec 14, 2001; USDA-FAS Gain Report #AU1033, Dec 12, 2001.

What is Austria’s production and trade in affected animals and animal products?

Austria has almost 2.2 million cattle in 2001 and accounted for 1.6 percent of world cattle exports in 1999. Stocks of sheep and goats and trade in these animals were generally less than 0.1 percent of global stocks.

Almost 90 percent of the live cattle imports in 1999 came from Germany. USDA-FAS also reported that Austria imported 234 live cattle from the UK between 1988 and 1990, and 253 cattle from the Netherlands between 1993 and 1997. Most of the live cattle exports in 1999 went to Italy and Germany, with lesser numbers going to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Croatia.

Table 1. Austria’s live animal stocks (2001) and imports and exports of live animals (1999).

Live Animal

Year 2001 Stocks

1999 Trade

1999 Exports

1999 Imports

Head

% World

Head

% World

Head

% World

Cattle

2,155,447

0.2

146,890

1.6

25,245

0.3

Sheep

357,888

18,597

0.1

100

Goats

69,618

1,807

94

Source: United Nations FAO

Austria accounted for 1.1 percent of world beef and veal exports in 1999. In rank order, destination countries were Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Russia, and Belgium. Austria also exports about 34,000 metric tons of meat-and-bone meal annually, primarily to the Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, and Germany. Austrian imports of beef and veal in 1999 came primarily from Germany and the Netherlands. In 1997 and 1998, Austria also imported meat-and-bone meal for non-ruminant feed, mainly from Germany.

Table 2. Production (2001) and trade (1999) in relevant products by Austria.

Products

Year 2000 Production

1999 Trade

1999 Exports

1999 Imports

Metric ton

% World

Metric ton

% World

Metric ton

% World

Beef and veal

216,700

0.4

77,205

1.1

19,694

0.3

Mutton and lamb 1

7,200

60

1,950

0.2

Goat meat 1

580

4

7

Source: United Nations FAO

1 Sheep and goats were included in Table 1 and Table 2 as ‘affected’ animals because USDA/APHIS includes all ruminants and ruminant products in its restrictions pertaining to BSE.

Source: United Nations FAO; USDA-FAS Gain Report #AU0031, Aug 10, 2000; USDA-FAS Gain Report #AU1033, Dec 10, 2001

Has Austria taken any precautions in regard to BSE?

Austria had banned feeding of meat-and-bone meal to cattle and sheep in 1990. Additional laws pertaining to processed mammalian proteins (PMP) were enacted in January 2001, including a ban on feeding PMP to animals used for food production, and a ban on the marketing and import of PMP intended for livestock. Austria began testing all slaughter cattle over 30 months of age in January 2001.

Source: USDA-FAS Gain Report #AU1001, Feb 1, 2001; Reuters, Dec 14, 2001

What are the US imports of affected animals or animal products from Austria?

Between 1998 and June 2001, US imports from Austria included goat meat, animal feeds, and sausage. The sausage and animals feeds were from unspecified species.

Source: World Trade Atlas

Table 3. Relevant US imports from Austria in 1998, 1999, 2000, and Jan-Jun 2001

HS Code

Description

Unit

1998

1999

2000

2001 (Jan-Jun)

Feed - non species specific

2309909500

Preparations Used in Animal Feedings, NESOI

KG 0 0 0 1,000

Meat & offal - ruminant

020450

Goat Fresh, Frozen

KG 0 656 0 0

Meat & offal - non species specific

1601006080

Sausage/Smlr Prdct Meat Etc NESOI Food Prep Nt Cnd

KG 514 0 0 12,154

Source: World Trade Atlas

Did the US have restrictions on ruminant imports from Austria prior to this case?

In December 1997, APHIS prohibited the importation of live ruminants and most ruminant products from all of Europe including Austria until a thorough assessment of the risks of introduction of BSE into the US could be made. Prior to December 1997, import restrictions were applied only to those countries which had reported cases of BSE in native animals. Also, importation of ruminant meat from BSE-affected countries was permitted if the meat was deboned and free of visually identifiable lymphatic and nervous tissue and if it met other restrictions. Import regulations enacted December 1997 extended the import restrictions to countries which had not had a declared BSE case, yet had risk factors for BSE occurrence.

These regulatory changes also removed provisions that allowed importation of ruminant meat from the restricted countries, and thereby prohibited importation of ruminant meat from all Europe. These import restrictions also applied to bone meal, blood meal, meat meal, offal, fat, glands, and serum from ruminants . In December 2000, APHIS expanded its import restrictions regarding BSE by prohibiting all imports from Europe of rendered animal protein products, regardless of species.

Source: USDA, APHIS, VS

What is the level of passenger traffic arriving in the United States from Austria?

A total of 168,598 passengers on direct flights from Austria arrived at US airports in fiscal year 2000. An undetermined number of passengers from Austria arrived in the US via indirect flights.

Under APHIS-PPQ’s agricultural quarantine inspection monitoring, 565 air passengers from Austria were sampled for items of agricultural interest in fiscal year 2000. Ten (10) of these passengers, or 1.7 percent, carried a total of 23 kg meat (non-pork) items that could potentially harbor the pathogen(s) that cause BSE. None of these passengers from whom meat items were confiscated reported plans to visit or work on a ranch or farm during their visit to the US.

Source: US Dept. of Transportation; APHIS-PPQ

CEI’s plans for follow up:

Currently, CEI has no plans for supplemental reporting of this outbreak of BSE in Austria. If you need more information or if you want to comment on this worksheet, you may reply to this message, or contact David Cummings at (970) 490-7895 or Chris Kopral at (970) 490-7819 .



Additional Information