Scot­land achieves low­est risk of BSE

The Oban Times - - Farming -

SCOT­LAND has achieved the low­est risk level sta­tus avail­able for bovine spongi­form en­cephalopa­thy (BSE).

No­ti­fi­ca­tion of the clas­si­fi­ca­tion up­grade to neg­li­gi­ble risk sta­tus was con­firmed by the World Or­gan­i­sa­tion for An­i­mal Health (OIE) in Paris.

The OIE has recog­nised that the of­fi­cial BSE risk sta­tus of both Scot­land and North­ern Ire­land is at the safest level, a move ex­pected to help open in­ter­na­tional mar­ket ac­cess for beef ex­ports. Eng­land and Wales con­tinue to be recog­nised as hav­ing con­trolled risk BSE sta­tus.

Ru­ral Sec­re­tary Fer­gus Ewing said: ‘This is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment that has been many years in the mak­ing. Scot­land has had no cases of BSE since 2009 and this an­nounce­ment is tes­ta­ment to many peo­ple’s tire­less ef­forts.

‘ With Scot­land al­ready be­ing recog­nised as of­fi­cially TB-free, this de­ci­sion fur­ther vin­di­cates our rep­u­ta­tion for sup­ply­ing beef prod­ucts of the high­est qual­ity, pro­duced to the high­est stan­dards in the world.

Frank Clark, pres­i­dent of the Scot­tish As­so­ci­a­tion of Meat Whole­salers, added: ‘Scot­land has lived with BSE since 1986 and the farm­ing and meat in­dus­tries have made mas­sive ef­forts to man­age and erad­i­cate the dis­ease.

‘To­day’s de­ci­sion frees our in­dus­try to make full com­mer­cial use of Scot­land’s high-health sta­tus on be­half of pro­duc­ers, pro­ces­sors and whole­salers, open­ing the door to fresh mar­ket­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties around the world.’

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