BSE cases in 2023 thus far

This week’s announcement of a BSE case in Para in Brazil is not the first worldwide BSE case in 2023. There have been two other cases reported, firstly, in the Netherlands on January 30th and then in Spain on     February 10th and now a case in Brazil on February 19th.

The two European cases differ in age considerably, the Spanish cow was 22 years of age and died of non-related BSE causes, and the Netherlands cow was only 8 years of age (this current Brazil case was 10 years of age).  In both European cases, the animals were found to be atypical cases.

Nonetheless, the Philippines have recently banned all live cattle, meat and meat products, bovine process animal proteins, and semen from cows originating in the Netherlands. Pipeline products have been accepted on condition that both slaughter and production dates were before January 1st.

It should be noted that in Europe, there have been five cases reported in recent years, including Germany (2022), the UK (2022), Spain (2021), Ireland (2020) and Switzerland (2020).

Should the Brazil case be confirmed by Canada that the variant is “a-typical,” the case will be considered closed – and nothing will change for the country’s BSE status. Would the infection turns out to be a “classic” variant, however, arising from eating contaminated feed, then additional measures will be necessary. Brazil could expect      extended closures from markets.

As of 2019, 232 people worldwide have died of vCJD, the human variant of BSE. ~Simon Quilty


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