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Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, Finland,

Impact Worksheet, December 13, 2001


Summary: The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Helsinki reported to the OIE Finland’s first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) on December 7, 2001. The disease was detected in a dairy cow born in 1995 in Finland. No meat-and-bone meal had reportedly been used in the herd for more than 20 years.

Finland had less than one percent of the world’s cattle, sheep, and goat stocks in 2000 and produced less than one percent of the world’s total beef and veal, mutton and lamb, and goat meat. Live cattle, sheep, and goat exports from Finland were less than 1.0 percent of the world’s trade in these animals during 1999. Likewise, Finland exported less than one percent of the world’s total exports of these products during 1999.

In December 1997, APHIS prohibited the importation of live ruminants and most ruminant products from all of Europe including Finland. In December 2000, import restrictions regarding BSE were expanded by prohibiting all imports of rendered animal protein products, regardless of species, from Europe. Some offal (animal species not specified) was imported into the US from Finland in 1998 and 2000.

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

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Helsinki reported to the OIE Finland’s first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) on December 7, 2001. The disease was detected in northern Finland in a dairy cow born in 1995 in Finland. The cow showed clinical signs of disorder and was emergency slaughtered. The diagnostic tests used were: Prionics Check test (29 November 2001); immunohistochemistry, histopathology (7 December 2001). Neither the source of agent nor the origin of infection has been established. Epidemiological investigations are underway. No meat-and-bone meal has been used in the herd for more than 20 years. Control measures include removal and slaughter.

Source: OIE Disease Information Report

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

Finland was responsible for less than one percent of the world’s cattle, sheep, and goat stocks in year 2000 (Table 1). Live cattle, sheep, and goat exports from Finland were less than 1.0 percent of the world’s trade in these animals during year 1999. Finland imported less than 1.0 percent of the world’s imports of live cattle, sheep, and goats.

Table 1. Finland’s live animal stocks (year 2000) and imports and exports of live animals (year 1999).

Live Animal

Year 2000 Stocks

1999 Trade

1999 Exports

1999 Imports

Head

% World

Head

% World

Head

% World

Cattle

1,068,000

20

9

Sheep

106,000

30

0

Goats

7,900

0

0

Finland produced less than one percent of the world’s total beef and veal, mutton and lamb, and goat meat during year 2000 (Table 2). Finland exported less than one percent of the world’s total exports of these products during year 1999. Finland imported three percent of the world’s total imports of mutton and lamb, but less than one percent of the total imports of beef, veal, and goat meat during year 1999.

Table 2. Production (year 2000) and trade (year 1999) in relevant products by Finland.

Products

Year 2000 Production

1999 Trade

1999 Exports

1999 Imports

Metric ton

% World

Metric ton

% World

Metric ton

% World

Beef and veal

90,000

1,506

2,121

Mutton and lamb 1

750

41

964

Goat meat 1

0

0

10

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

What are the U.S. imports of affected animals or animal products from Finland?

No live ruminants nor any meat from ruminants were imported into the US from Finland between 1998 and June 2001. Some offal (animal species not specified) was imported into the US from Finland in 1998 and 2000 (Table 3).

Source: World Trade Atlas; USDA APHIS VS Import Tracking System

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

HS Code

Description

Unit

1998

1999

2000

2001 (Jan-Jun)

BSE meat & offal-non species specific

Totl 120,516 0 19,482 0

0504000040

Gut/Bladder/Stomach of Animals For Sausage Casing, Not Hog

KG 120,516 0 0 0

0504000060

Guts, Bladders and Stomachs of Animals, NESOI

KG 0 0 19,482 0

Source: World Trade Atlas

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

In December 1997, APHIS prohibited the importation of live ruminants and most ruminant products from all of Europe including Finland 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 Finland?

A total of 102,450 passengers on direct flights from Finland arrived at US airports in fiscal year 2000. An undetermined number of passengers from Finland arrived in the US via indirect flights.

Under APHIS-PPQ’s agricultural quarantine inspection monitoring, 250 air passengers from Finland were sampled for items of agricultural interest in fiscal year 2000. Of these 250 passengers, 9 carried a total of 11.5 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, there are no plans for supplemental reporting of this outbreak of BSE in Finland. If you need more information or if you want to comment on this worksheet, you may reply to this message, or contact Reg Johnson at (970) 490-7896 or Chris Kopral at (970) 490-7819.



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