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BSE_ Greece 7_6_01

CEI LogoBovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, Greece

Impact Worksheet, July 6, 2001


Summary:

Greece reported its first case of BSE to the OIE on July 3, 2001. The case was a five year old Holstein cow, from a farm in the northern part of the country, that was diagnosed due to routine slaughter surveillance for BSE. It is currently unclear whether this cow was native born or imported. Greece had less than one percent of world cattle, goat and sheep stocks in 2000 and exported significantly less than one percent of world trade in beef and veal, mutton and lamb, and goat meat in 1999. In December 1997, APHIS prohibited the importation of live ruminants and most ruminant products from all of Europe including Greece. Due to this import ban, no live ruminants, ruminant meat, meal made from ruminants, or other high risk products for BSE were imported from Greece during 2000 or 2001 (January - April).

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

Greece reported to the OIE its first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) on July 3, 2001. The case was a five year old Holstein cow from a farm in the northern area of Kilkis

(see blue triangle on map), which was diagnosed due to routine BSE slaughter surveillance of all cattle over 30 months of age. The cow was not exhibiting any clinical signs of BSE prior to slaughter. The herd of origin (approximately 150 cattle) was slaughtered and incinerated.

The origins of the cow are unclear at this point in time. Government officials have not yet been able to confirm the cow's history, including country of origin. A cow which the owner reported as dead, but could not account for, was imported from the Netherlands and coincides in age and breed with the BSE-affected cow. News services report the cow was born in Greece to a cow that had been imported from the Netherlands in 1994. (The Netherlands had its first reported BSE case in 1997.)

Source: Reuters News, the Associated Press , OIE Disease Information Report

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

Greece had less than one percent of world cattle, goat and sheep stocks last year. Live cattle, goat, and sheep exports from Greece were less than 0.01 percent of world trade in these animals, according to 1999 (most recent available) data. Greece received 3.2 percent of world live sheep imports, and 1.9 percent of world live cattle imports.

Table A: Stocks and Trade in Live Animals, Greece

Live Animal

2000 Stocks

Trade

1999 Exports

1999 Imports

Head

% World

Head

% World

Head

% World

Cattle

590,000

0.04

132

< 0.01

158,136

1.9

Sheep

9,041,000

0.85

856

0.01

548,983

3.2

Goats

5,293,000

0.74

185

< 0.01

15,075

0.6

Greece exported significantly less than one percent of world trade in beef and veal, mutton and lamb, and goat meat in 1999. Greece, however, imported 7.4 percent of world beef and veal exports. Greece also imported over 2 percent of world mutton and lamb exports.

Table B: Production and Trade in Relevant Products, Greece

Products

2000 Production, provisional

Trade

1998 Exports

1998 Imports

Metric ton

% World

Metric ton

% World

Metric ton

% World

Beef and veal

65,665

0.11

366

0.03

135,524

7.47

Mutton and lamb

79,000

1.04

376

0.04

17,903

2.15

Goat meat

47,000

1.27

96

0.55

88

0.28

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

Source: United Nations FAO

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

In December 1997, APHIS prohibited the importation of live ruminants and most ruminant products from all of Europe including Greece 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 that had not had a declared case of BSE, yet had risk factors for occurrence of BSE.

These regulatory changes also removed the provisions which allowed 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 . In December 2000, APHIS expanded its import restrictions regarding BSE by prohibiting all imports of rendered animal protein products, regardless of species, from Europe.

The EU has not done a Geographical BSE Risk (GBR) assessment of Greece.

Source: USDA, APHIS, VS

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

Very few products that would be of risk for transmission of BSE were imported into the US from Greece during 2000 or 2001 (January - April). Due to the above mentioned import ban, no live ruminants, ruminant meat, meal made from ruminants, or other high risk products from ruminants were imported from Greece during this time period. In 2001 (January - April), 3000 kg of enzymes and prepared enzymes and 5 kg of medicants containing antibiotics for veterinary use were imported. The data do not provide a species of origin code for these products, therefore they may not contain any ruminant product.

Sources: World Trade Atlas

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

Approximately 185,000 direct flights from Greece arrived to US airports in fiscal year 2000. Also, an unknown number of passengers from Greece arrived via indirect flights.

Under APHIS-PPQ’s agriculture quarantine inspection monitoring, 584 air passengers from Greece were sampled for items of agricultural interest in fiscal year 2000. Of these passengers, 14 carried meat (non-pork) items that could potentially transmit pathogens that cause BSE; most passengers carried from one to two kilograms (kg) of meat, although one passenger in November 1999 carried 23 kg of meat in a suitcase. Florida, Massachusetts, and New York were the reported destinations of these passengers. None of the passengers with meat items reported plans to visit or work on a ranch or farm while in the US.

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

CEI’s plans for follow up:

At this time, CEI has no plans for further activity regarding BSE in Greece. If you seek more information or wish to comment on this worksheet, please reply to this message or contact Vicki Bridges at (970) 490-7822 or David Cummings at (970) 490-7895.



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