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Number of BSE cases in Switzerland drops in 2000

As of January 1, Switzerland is imposing a total ban on meat-based animal feed for livestock

(Keystone)

The federal veterinary office's annual report on BSE, or mad cow disease, shows that 33 cases were discovered in Switzerland in 2000, compared to 50 cases in 1999.

Out of the 33 cases detected in 2000, 16 were discovered through the government surveillance programme, UP2000, while 17 cases were discovered by private veterinary clinics.

The 17 cases detected in clinics affected animals born after a ban on feeding meat-based animal feed to cattle went into effect on December 1, 1990.

The Swiss government started its surveillance programme in 1999.

As part of the programme, animals considered to be at risk of contracting BSE, are systematically tested for the disease. In addition, random testing is conducted on animals killed for consumption.

Switzerland started keeping records on BSE cases six years ago. In 1998, 14 cases of BSE were discovered by clinics. In 1997, 38 cases were detected.

The first case of mad cow disease in Switzerland was discovered in 1990. In total 324 clinical cases have been diagnosed to date.

Of that number, 85 of the animals were born after the 1990 ban on meat-based animal feed for cattle was imposed.

As of January 1, 2001, the government is imposing a total ban on the feeding of meat-based animal feed to livestock.

swissinfo with agencies

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