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30

2023

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05

End of Reporting Atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy to WOAH

Source:

OIG Research

Due to the successful implementation of effective control measures, BSE has transitioned from being an international public health emergency to a disease that exists and affects health. Against this backdrop, WOAH announced the adoption of revised standards for BSE at the conference. The revisions include criteria for determining disease risk, disease surveillance and safe trade recommendations, as well as the removal of atypical BSE from WOAH's list of statutorily notifiable diseases.

 

At the 90th Annual General Session of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) held in Paris, France from May 21 to 25, 2023, it was announced that atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) would no longer be reported.

 

Due to the successful implementation of effective control measures, BSE has transitioned from being an international public health emergency to a disease that exists and affects health. Against this backdrop, WOAH announced the adoption of revised standards for BSE at the conference. The revisions include criteria for determining disease risk, disease surveillance and safe trade recommendations, as well as the removal of atypical BSE from WOAH's list of statutorily notifiable diseases.

 

In the question-and-answer document regarding BSE, WOAH stated that the statutory notification of BSE cases would be limited to classical BSE, meaning that atypical BSE would no longer fall within the scope of statutorily notifiable diseases. WOAH proposed that information on atypical BSE cases should be provided as part of annual reviews and included in the archives submitted for official recognition of BSE risk status, thus confirming the effectiveness of the BSE monitoring system.

 

The differentiation between atypical and classical BSE marks an extremely important moment in the history of BSE.

 

However, whether bilateral beef trade between countries will still be affected by atypical BSE depends on specific circumstances such as the exporting country's animal disease control level, the BSE situation in the importing country, and the outcome of bilateral negotiations.

 

Nevertheless, this decision by WOAH is a significant positive development for major beef-exporting countries troubled by sporadic cases of atypical BSE. It is possible that in the future, mutually acceptable new control measures could be found to address the long-standing issue of atypical BSE in countries like Brazil, among others.

 

Since 2019, Brazil has suspended its beef exports to China three times due to concerns over atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), with a cumulative suspension period of seven and a half months.

 

On March 23, Yu Jianhua, General Director of GACC, met with Carlos Favaro, Brazilian Minister of Agriculture and Livestock. The two sides exchanged views on deepening China-Brazil cooperation in inspection and quarantine, with the issue of Brazilian beef exports to China being a key topic.

 

Yu Jianhua emphasized that Brazil is China's largest trading partner in agricultural products, and China Customs attaches great importance to cooperation in the field of inspection and quarantine between China and Brazil. Based on scientific, regulatory, and systematic assessments, China has agreed to resume the import of deboned beef from Brazil from cattle under 30 months of age. Yu Jianhua requested that Brazil fulfill its government regulatory responsibilities and corporate obligations, ensuring the safe and sustainable development of beef trade between China and Brazil. Minister Favaro highly appreciated the pragmatic cooperation between China and Brazil, emphasizing the importance of bilateral agricultural cooperation. He expressed gratitude for China Customs' decision to resume Brazilian beef exports to China, stating that it would further promote the development of agricultural trade between the two countries. Brazil is committed to strictly implementing the requirements of the agreement to ensure the quality and safety of beef exported to China.