There were no recorded cases of mad cow disease in Switzerland in 2007 – the first time in 17 years, says the Federal Veterinary Office.
The federal office says strict counteractive measures have helped eradicate the disease. These will stay in force for the time being.
BSE (bovine spongiform encephalitis) was first discovered in the country in 1990. In total, 463 cases of the disease have been recorded since then, but cases have been decreasing since 2001.
The federal office said that the ban on animal products in feed for livestock since 1990, which was extended in 2001 to feed for all animals, largely accounted for the BSE-free 2007.
But it added that these measures would continue because mad cow disease had on average a six-year incubation period.
BSE progressively destroys the brain and nervous system. A human form of the disease, new Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) was discovered in 1996.