HC Deb 02 May 2001 vol 367 cc691-2W
Mr. Campbell-Savours

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if the results from the second BSE survey of cattle aged over five years begun in may 2000 are available. [160400]

Mr. Nick Brown

Yes, 9,256 samples taken from cattle over five years old slaughtered in Great Britain under the over-30-months scheme (OTMS) between May and December 2000 were tested for BSE by histological examination of the brain. Of these 0.41 per cent. (39) tested positive. This compares with 0.45 per cent. (18) positive results by the same method of examination in the first survey in 1999 when 3,951 cattle aged over five years old were tested. These brain samples, and others that proved unsuitable for examination by histological examination are being further tested by means of a rapid test, and results will be reported as soon as they are available.

These results will be used to evaluate results of additional surveys of fallen stock or casualties, and to enable the decline of the BSE epidemic in Great Britain to be more fully analysed. Because of the OTMS none of these cattle would have gone into the food chain.