Over 30 countries act on 'mad cow disease,' but more needs to be done, UN agency says
States are working to fight the spread of the disease, known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), by improving their surveillance systems, according to FAO. In addition, States are banning the import of meat and bone meal as well as live cattle from Western European countries where the presence of the illness has been confirmed
The agency cautioned States against complacency in the fight against BSE and the human Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, or V-CJD. In January, FAO warned that more than 100 countries were at risk because they had imported meat and bone meal or live cattle from Western Europe during the 1980s.
The most susceptible regions are Eastern Europe, Asia and the Near East, FAO said, noting that the Czech Republic recently reported its first case of BSE.
"BSE may still be undetected in countries outside Western Europe which imported contaminated feed or cattle in the 1980s and 90s and do not have effective surveillance and risk management in place," said FAO Senior Officer Andrew Speedy. "But if countries take the necessary steps, consumers can be reassured that the beef they eat is safe."