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Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Volume 171: debated on Tuesday 1 May 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is considering any research in developing a diagnostic test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy in live cattle.

On the advice of the Tyrrell committee, MAFF funds studies at the central veterinary laboratories, Weybridge, on the clinical features in cases of BSE with particular emphasis on methods of early diagnosis. Further studies at this laboratory and at the neuropath-ogenesis unit in Edinburgh on the genetics, molecular biology and chemical pathology of BSE are also funded by MAFF because of their potential for development of diagnostic tests.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will indicate by number the method of disposal of bovine spongiform encephalopathy infected cattle slaughtered during the current year.

The information for 1990 is not yet available.The information for 1989 is as follows:

Method of disposalNumber
Incineration5,346
Burial2,342
Retained for research10

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the date of birth of the youngest confirmed cases of BSE to date.

The youngest confirmed case of BSE was 22 months old and was born on 18 November 1987.