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Government launches BSE task force

The new taskforce will monitor the BSE situation in Switzerland

(Keystone Archive)

The Swiss government is to set up a task force to monitor control measures taken in Switzerland to combat BSE or mad cow disease. The programme has the full backing of the cantons.

In addition to the monitoring body, the government has released SFr1.1 million ($660,000) to finance further research into prion diseases, of which BSE is one.

A prion disease is a degenerative disorder in which malformed proteins replace normal proteins in the brain.

As well as the release of funds, the three federal offices involved in the programme are launching an information campaign about BSE which aims to communicate the main facts about the disease to the general public.

The Federal Veterinary Office, the Federal Office for Public Health and the Federal Office of Agriculture are all involved in the initiative and certain members will work together in the new task force.

They will closely monitor the BSE situation in Switzerland making sure that the disease is fought with equal force and resources throughout the country.

They will be monitoring areas as diverse as animal feed and animal slaughter and will be enforcing controls imposed by the food industry and BSE screening tests.

swissinfo with agencies


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