Wednesday, March 23, 2016

French beef industry awaits mad cow test results

French livestock officials are awaiting test results on tissue samples from a cow suspected of having bovine spongiform encephalopathy. If confirmed, it would be the country's first case of BSE since 2004. France is Europe's biggest cattle producer and there is concern that a new case of BSE - more commonly known as mad cow disease -- could affect exports in an industry already struggling with low prices. Last year French beef exports totaled just over $1 billion, trade ministry data show. The suspect cow died on a farm in the Ardennes region of France. Preliminary testing on the carcass on March 17 indicated the presence of BSE. Tissue samples have been sent to an official European BSE reference laboratory in the UK for further testing. Officials said it could be several days yet before results are available. Confirmation of the disease could prompt the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to reassess France's official BSE risk level. Only last year the country regained the safest rating of “negligible risk.” South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Singapore lifted embargos on French beef following the OIE decision...more

No comments: