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EU Summary report on presence of TSEs published
No cases of classical BSE in cattle were reported in 2017
EFSA presents the results of surveillance on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies 

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has reported on its 2017 monitoring of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in the EU member states and Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.

TSEs include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), scrapie and chronic wasting disease (CWD). The diseases affect the brain and nervous system.

The research reports on findings in bovine animals, sheep, goats, cervids and other animal species. Genotyping in sheep is also included.

The main 2017 findings of the report are:
  • no cases of classical BSE in cattle were reported (out of 1,312,714 tested)
  • six cases of atypical BSE were reported
  • 933 cases of scrapie in sheep were reported (out of 314,547 tested)
  • 567 cases of scrapie in goats were reported (out of 117,268 tested)
  • no cases of CWD in cervids were reported (out of 3,585 tested) in the EU
  • 11 cases pf CWD in cervids were reported in Norway.
Full results of the report can be found here.

BSE is the only known zoonotic TSE. Although no classical cases of BSE were identified in 2017, a farm in Aberdeenshire confirmed a case of BSE in October 2018.

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
British sheep meat to be exported to India in new agreement

The UK government has secured a new export deal of sheep meat to India.

In 2017, UK sheep meat exports were worth £386 million. This new agreement is predicted to increase this value by £6 million over the next five years.

With a range of meat cuts due to be exported, the deal is seen by international trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, as “another vote of confidence in our world-leading food and drink”.