Keywords: bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE, Australia, New Zealand, risk management, mad cow disease, trade liberalisation, food safety
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy risk management in Australia and New Zealand
Between 1962 and 1966, Australia and New Zealand ceased importing rendered animal protein from any country other than each other; as a result, both were protected against bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) contaminated meat and bone meal (MBM), which was being exported from the UK during the 1980s. More recently, global trade considerations have encouraged these countries to relax their import restrictions to some extent, while at the same time requiring convincing evidence that appropriate steps are being taken domestically to control mad cow disease. Both countries have successfully maintained their 'BSE-free' status. However, whereas Australia has retained more stringent policies with respect to BSE risk, New Zealand has adopted policies compatible with trade liberalisation.