Keywords: bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE risk levels, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Office International des Epizooties, OIE standards, risk management, variant CJD, vCJD, mad cow disease, World Organisation for Animal Health, trade disruption, Terrestrial Animal Health Code, BSE risk classification, BSE control policies
The World Organisation for Animal Health (Office International des Epizooties) recommendations for bovine spongiform encephalopathy risk management and its use by member countries
The World Organisation for Animal Health (formerly the Office of International Epizootics, or OIE) provides inter-governmental guidance on animal health issues. The OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code contains standards and recommendations to prevent import of infectious pathogens during trade of animal products. The OIE designed recommendations for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to facilitate trade among countries with similar risk profiles. However, the existence of the OIE standards did not prevent major trade disruptions from occurring. Three examples of trade disruption from BSE are reviewed to reveal how countries either misapplied or ignored standards that classified BSE risk levels, resulting in primary, secondary and regional trade disruption impacts. Recent revisions to the OIE BSE risk classification attempt to improve the application of standards by categorising countries into two main risk groups – either controlled or negligible risk, based on surveillance of high risk animals and implementation of appropriate BSE control policies.