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BSE crisis triggers ban on high risk sheep and goat organs

So-called "risk organs" such as sheeps' brains are off the menu in Switzerland


The government is to ban certain sheep and goat organs for human consumption in the wake of the crisis over BSE or Mad Cow Disease. The measures bring Switzerland into line with the European Union.

The federal veterinary office said on Tuesday that the ban on so-called risk organs was to be extended to sheep and goat organs. It was introduced for cattle in 1990.

The new measures stipulate that the spleens of all sheep and goats be incinerated when the animals are slaughtered. The ban also extends to the heads and spinal cords of animals which are 12 months or older at the time of being slaughtered.

The EU introduced a similar ban last year as a precautionary measure over fears that so-called prion diseases, such as BSE in cattle, could be transmitted to humans through infected meat.

A spokesman for the veterinary office told the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation that there was no evidence that the prion disease which affects sheep and goats - scrapie - could be transmitted to humans. However, he said the disease was virtually identical to BSE.

swissinfo with agencies


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