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Feb 13, 2005
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Cohorts of BSE-infected cattle in Northern Ireland will be culled.

Northern Ireland's Department of Agriculture has announced it will cull the cohorts born after August 1, 1996 of cattle that are found to have been infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

The measure is one of the changes being introduced to ease the introduction of the lifting of the over 30-month slaughter scheme – part of the measures to control BSE.

The Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland said: "Before the OTM rule is replaced by testing and the export ban lifted, the U.K. will be required (like all other E.U. member states) to cull the cohorts of BSE cases."

Cohorts are cattle born within a year of the birth of a BSE case or cattle reared with a BSE case in the first year of its life, when they were aged less than a year old. The Livestock and Meat Commission said that these animals might have been exposed to the same feed as the BSE case at a time when they are considered to be most vulnerable to infection.

Cohort cattle born before August 1, 1996 are not included, because they will be excluded from the food chain. The cull started in the middle of February and there are believed to be about 680 cohorts on 200 farms in Northern Ireland. The cull is expected to take between two and three months.

Web posted: March 7, 2005
Category: Food Safety,Legislation and Regulation
Domenick Castaldo, Ph.D.

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