Skip to main content

BSE Ongoing Monthly Surveillance Program

Public and animal health are protected from BSE by a stringent feed ban imposed by the Food and Drug Administration in 1997 and by the removal of all specified risk material which could harbor BSE. USDA also has a strong ongoing surveillance program in place to detect signs of BSE in cattle in the United States. The program samples approximately 25,000 animals each year and targets cattle populations where the disease is most likely to be found. The targeted population for ongoing surveillance focuses on cattle exhibiting signs of central nervous disorders or any other signs that may be associated with BSE, including cattle that cannot walk, are low-weight, injured, or dead. These types of cattle are sampled at farms, veterinary diagnostic laboratories, public health laboratories, slaughter facilities, veterinary clinics, and livestock markets.

BSE samples collected, FY2020

Current Monthly Test Results

APHIS reports ongoing surveillance test totals monthly.

Collection Month

FY2020

Number of Valid Samples

OIE Points

October 2019 1,152 23,238
November 2019 1,569 36,255
December 2019 1,531 19,100
January 2020 2,340 29,204
February 2020 3,293 47,333
March 2020 3,115 27,953
April 2020 2,194 13,334
May 2020 1,660 21,163
June 2020 1,033 19,348

Total as of July 1, 2020

17,887 236,928

Beginning in Fiscal Year 2016, the BSE ongoing surveillance program will sample approximately 25,000 animals each year. Under the program, USDA will continue to collect samples from a variety of sites and from the cattle populations where the disease is most likely to be detected.

Fiscal Year 2007-2016 Test Results

For Fiscal Years 2007-2015, the BSE ongoing surveillance program had a target of testing approximately 40,000 animals per year.

OIE Surveillance Points: design prevalence of 1 case per 100,000 U.S. adult cattle and 95% confidence; 300,000 OIE points over 7 years, or 42,857 OIE points on average per year are required.

BSurvE Surveillance Points: design prevalence of 1 case per 1,000,000 U.S. adult cattle and 95% confidence; 3,000,000 points over 7 years, or 428,571 BSurvE points on average per year are required.

Samples Tested, OIE Points, and BSurvE Points by Fiscal Year

Fiscal Year

Total Samples
Tested as Valid

OIE Points per FY 

BSurvE Points

FY2012 42,202 1,066,637 2,523,447
FY 2013 43,173 1,048,554 2,505,042
FY 2014 41,291 678,622 1,642,452
FY 2015 40,902 592,353 1,414,630
FY 2016 26,564 547,959 1,314,579
FY 2017 24,229 577,494 1,383,678
FY 2018 21,809 540,960 1,305,585
FY 2019 18,627 395,732 948,602

BSE Ongoing Surveillance Program Cumulative Totals

  • Valid Tests from September 1, 2006 to July 1, 2020: 491,208
  • OIE Points from September 1, 2006 to July 1, 2020 : 11,235,409
  • BSurvE Points from September 1, 2006 to July 1, 2020 : 26,823,038

(see "BSE Ongoing Surveillance Plan" for information on OIE and BSurvE points)

Complementary Content
${loading}