The Subcommittee also made several recommendations, all of which are being fully analyzed by USDA and our Food and Drug Administration colleagues. These include:
- A recommendation for a very aggressive surveillance program that tests all high-risk animals (that is, nonambulatory animals and animals with central nervous system disorders) greater than 30 months of age. This testing would be for a one year period. The results from that intensive surveillance could then be considered in an evaluation of the overall BSE program. The Subcommittee also suggested that consideration be given to random sampling of animals greater than 30 months of age at slaughter, to encourage disease reporting at the farm level.
- The Subcommittee recommended that a number of laboratories throughout the United States should be approved by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories or “NVSL” to conduct screening tests as part of the national surveillance program. The national reference laboratory should remain within NVSL, and NVSL should be responsible for confirmatory and proficiency testing.
- The subcommittee urged the United States to collaborate with the global community in the evaluation and validation of new BSE diagnostic tests.
- As for feed issues, the Subcommittee recommends banning SRMs from all animal feed as well as excluding all mammalian and poultry protein from ruminant feed. This recommendation is based on the possibility of cross-contamination in a ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban
- The Subcommittee emphasized the need for an effective educational and outreach program on BSE.
The Subcommittee recognized that the North American BSE situation vividly demonstrates the unwarranted and very significant social and financial impact when importing countries fail to comply with science-based international rules regarding trade. The subcommittee hopes that the United States will continue to demonstrate leadership in trade matters by adopting import/export policy in accordance with the science and international standards. By continuing to do so, we can help to discourage irrational trade barriers when countries identify their first case of BSE.
Specific trade information can be found at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/trade/bse_trade_ban_status.html