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BSE_ Czech Republice 6_14_01

CEI LogoBovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, Czech Republic

Impact Worksheet, June 14, 2001


Summary: The Czech Republic confirmed on June 8, 2001 the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a native-born cow. This is the first confirmed case of BSE in a native-born animal outside of western Europe.

The Czech Republic has less than 1% of world cattle stocks, and less than 0.1% of sheep and goats. The country’s exports of beef and veal accounted for less than 0.1% of world beef and veal exports in 1999 and are negligible in terms of world trade in these products. In 2001, the Czech Republic exported beef and live cattle to Austria, Germany, France, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, and Russia.

In December 1997, the USDA, APHIS enacted regulations which prohibited the importation of live ruminants and ruminant meat from Europe, including the Czech Republic. 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 of rendered animal protein products, regardless of species, from Europe.

How extensive is the situation in the affected country and what was the country’s disease status prior to the outbreak?

On June 8, 2001 the Czech Republic reported to the OIE the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a native-born cow. The initial two positive tests in the Czech Republic were subsequently confirmed on June 14, 2001 by the German BSE Reference Center. This confirmation of BSE is the first confirmed occurrence of BSE in a native-born animal outside of western Europe.

The six year old cow with clinical signs of BSE came from a breeding herd of 138 cows owned by a cooperative farm. No other animals on the farm showed clinical signs of BSE. As a result of the current case, all susceptible animals in the herd will be destroyed and tested. In addition, the Czech government will extend BSE testing to all slaughtered bovine animals older than 30 months. Before this case, the Czech government had randomly tested around 11 thousand slaughtered bovines this year, all with negative results.

The source of the infectious agent is not yet known. The Czech government banned feeding all meat-and-bone meal to cattle in 1991. However, the Czech government has initiated an investigation to determine if the contamination could have happened through feeding of imported milk feed substitutes in which milk fat was replaced by rendering-plant fat.

In April 2001 the European Commission listed the Czech Republic as a Category III country "likely to present a BSE risk", based on assessments of the amount of live cattle and feed of animal origin imported into countries in question. Other countries listed in the same category were Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Cyprus, and Switzerland.

Source: OIE; Reuters; ProMED

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

The Czech Republic has less than 0.2% of the world cattle stocks. In 1999 live cattle exports accounted for less than 0.6% of world cattle exports (Table A). No official data are available pertinent to the destination of exported cattle for that time period. However, recent news reports stated that this year the Czech Republic exported beef and live cattle to Austria, Germany, France, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, and Russia. Production and trade in live sheep and goats are very small, making up less than 0.1% of world production and trade in these animals.

Table A: Stocks and Trade in Live Animals, Czech Republic

Live Animal

2000 Stocks

Trade

1999 Exports

1999 Imports

Head

% World

Head

% World

Head

% World

Cattle

1,573,530

53,880

13,228

Sheep

84,108

791

93

Goats

31,988

115

21

The Czech Republic’s exports of beef and veal accounted for less than 0.1% of world beef and veal exports in 1999 and are negligible in terms of world trade in these products (Table B). In addition, no mutton, lamb, or goat meats were exported in 1999.

Table B: Production and Trade in Relevant Products, Czech Republic

Products

2000 Production, provisional

Trade

1998 Exports

1998 Imports

Metric
ton

% World

Metric ton

% World

Metric ton

% World

Beef and veal

110,261

2,249

3,325

<0.1%

Mutton and lamb

2,950

0

179

<0.1%

Goat meat

290

0

0

0.0%

Note: Sheep and goats were included here as ‘affected’ animals because APHIS has included all ruminants and ruminant products in restrictions pertaining to BSE.

Sources: UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Reuters.

Did the US have restrictions on ruminant imports from the Czech Republic prior to the current case?

In December 1997, APHIS prohibited the importation of live ruminants and most ruminant products from all of Europe including the Czech Republic 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. In addition, the 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. The import regulations enacted in December 1997 extended the import restrictions to countries that had not had a declared case of BSE, yet had risk factors for the occurrence of BSE.

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

Source: USDA, APHIS, VS

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

In accordance with the 1997 ban on the importation of live ruminants and most ruminant products including meat from Europe, the World Trade Atlas data show no such imports from the Czech Republic in 2000 or January - March 2001. The Czech Republic has two meat processing establishments approved to ship pork products to the US. However, according to available data, during 2000 and January - March 2001 no product from these plants was exported to the US.

The US imports some dairy products such as butter and cheese from the Czech Republic. These products are unlikely sources of BSE.

Source: World Trade Atlas; USDA, APHIS, VS; USDA, FSIS .

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

A total of 45,438 passengers arrived in the US on direct flights from the Czech Republic in fiscal year 2000 . It is likely that additional passengers originating in the Czech Republic traveled to the US on non-direct flights.

As part of APHIS-PPQ’s Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Monitoring, 238 air passengers from the Czech Republic were inspected for items of agricultural interest in fiscal year 2000. Of these, 10, or 4.2%, were found to be carrying a total of 17 kg of items that could potentially present a risk for BSE. None of the passengers with items reported plans to visit or work on a farm or ranch while in the US.

Source: US Department of Transportation, and APHIS-PPQ Agricultural Quarantine Inspection data base

CEI’s plans for follow-up:

CEI has no further plans regarding this case. However, if you seek more information or wish to comment on this worksheet, please reply to this message or contact Milo Muller at (970) 490-7844 or Chris Kopral at (970) 490-7819.



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