§ Mrs. Browning
[holding answer 17 May 1996]: I have been asked to reply.
The development of the ELISA test for bovine, ovine and porcine protein in ruminant feed has been a long-term project, based upon previous expertise in the identification of species of origin of meat. There were significant difficulties in purifying raw material to prevent interference by and cross reactions with many plant components of animal feed. Once resolved, there was a period of further validation based on the testing of feed samples collected on farm, commencing in June 1994. Additional testing of feed samples collected on farm, commencing in June 1994. Additional problems were identified, particularly relating to cross reactions with ingredients not previously tested, until the test was considered secure enough by mid-1995 to embark on surveillance at feed mills in compliance with Commission decision 95/287.