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Bovine spongiform encephalopathy and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease risk management in Central European Countries: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland

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The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland are economically stable countries located in the Central and Eastern part of Europe that became European Union Member States on May 1, 2004. These countries reported their first domestic bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) cases in 2001-2002. Several national and European Union legislative measures were adopted by veterinary officials to reduce external and internal risk factors which limited the spread of the BSE within national herds. To date, the national control programs against BSE in cattle have been successful. The herd incidence of BSE is either at a low level or in decline. All four countries meet the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) requirements for the status of BSE controlled risk countries. Risk management measures adopted by these Central European national authorities to reduce BSE risk factors and protect the general public from primary and secondary vCJD are reviewed.

Keywords: bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, risk management, new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, vCJD, variant CJD, mad cow disease, food safety

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