Commission Midday Express, 26 November 2004
On 25 November, a panel of scientists from the Community Reference Laboratory (CRL) on TSEs concluded that the data available on a suspected case of BSE in a goat was incomplete, preventing a definitive interpretation at this time. After evaluating the scientific evidence, the scientists recommended additional lines of investigation to be pursued. They concluded that the necessary data is expected to be available within approximately two months. The results are becoming available following a series of confirmatory tests including testing on mice (a so-called "mouse bioassay"), which takes approximately two years. The goat was slaughtered in France in October 2002. The European Commission will update Member States at a scheduled meeting of national experts on 30 November. Following the findings by a research group in France of a suspected BSE infection in a goat, the Commission immediately made the findings public on 28 October 2004 (see IP/04/1324). The supporting data were submitted on 5 November, as foreseen by the EU procedure, by the French authorities to the CRL for TSEs based in Weybridge (UK), for an evaluation by an expert panel. Although BSE has until now never been found in a goat under natural conditions, precautionary measures to protect consumers from this eventuality have been applied in the EU for several years.