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Foot and Mouth Disease

Foot and Mouth Disease is a Notifiable Disease which has the following

o It is caused by a Picornavirus. There are seven serotypes of the virus.

Protection against one serotype (e.g. through vaccination) will not protect
against infection with another serotype
o It affects cloven-hoofed animals. Other ruminants can also be affected.
o Animals are infected by either direct or indirect contact. The most efficient
route is direct contact with other infective animals.
o It is highly infectious and spread by contact with saliva, milk and dung but can
also be airborne.
o The incubation period is 3-6 days.
o It has serious impacts for animal health and the economics of the livestock

After being free of the disease for many years, the UK had an outbreak in 2001,
resulting in the slaughter of many animals, and a further outbreak in 2007.

Signs of Foot and Mouth

The severity of clinical signs will depend on the strain of virus, the age
of the animals and the species and breed affected.

Signs of Foot and Mouth in Cattle

o cattle typically show more severe disease than other animals

o raised temperature
o smacking lips and drooling due to blisters on the tongue
o shivering
o reduced milk yield
o sores and blisters on the feet where the horn meets the skin
o When housed, other cattle in the group will show clinical signs over the next
24-48 hours and such spread is dramatic.

Signs of Foot and Mouth in Sheep

o sudden, severe lameness. This is the main sign of the disease.

o lie down frequently
o blisters may be found on the hoof where the horn joins the skin.
o blisters are less common in the mouth

Signs of Foot and Mouth in Pigs

o sudden lameness
o blisters form on the upper edge of the hoof, on the heels and in the cleft
where the horn joins the soft tissue
o blisters may develop on the snout and on the tongue

Differential Diagnoses for disease in groups of cattle:

o Caustic substances
o Bluetongue
o Vesicular stomatitis virus

Individual cattle:

o Ingestion/contact with caustic substance

o Malignant catarrhal fever
o Bluetongue
o Mucosal disease

Differential Diagnoses for groups of sheep:

o sudden lameness due to other infections (such as footrot)

o Interdigital dermatitis

Differential Diagnoses for pigs:

o Swine Vesicular disease

o acute lameness
o infections with S. hyicus or S. aureus
o selenium-intoxication

Countermeasures to reduce the risk of the introduction of FMD

Where appropriate, or required by EU legislation, countermeasures are

in place which aim to reduce the risk of the introduction of FMD into GB.

These include:

o International surveillance and monitoring by Defra

o Import restrictions
o National biosecurity (including monitoring and the safe disposal of animal
products arriving into the country by air and sea)
o Vigilance and prompt reporting of any suspicion of the disease by livestock
owners and vets
o Recording livestock movements and the ability to identify livestock and trace
their movements
o Enforced 'Standstill Periods' preventing movement of livestock from farms
following the arrival of susceptible stock. This Standstill is set to cover the
incubation period for FMD and reduce the risk of onward transmission should
an infected animal be introduced before clinical signs are apparent

II. Avian Influenza

Avian Influenza otherwise known as bird flu is an infectious viral disease of birds. It is
notifiable under the Animal Health Act 1981

o The virus can affect the respiratory, digestive and/or nervous system of many
species of both wild and farmed birds including chickens, ducks, turkeys and
geese and can be passed between commercial, wild and pet birds.

o Birds do not always become sick so seemingly healthy birds can pose a risk to
people who come into contact with them.

Avian Influenza is not an airborne disease but is spread by the movement of infected
birds or by contact with secretions, in particular faeces, either directly or through
contaminated objects, clothes or vehicles.

o The virus is categorized as either highly pathogenic avian influenza

virus (HPAI) or low pathogenic (LPAI) avian influenza virus.

There are many types of bird flu, most of which are harmless to humans. However, two
types have caused serious concern in recent years. These are:

The H5N1 (since 1997)

The H7N9 (since 2013) viruses.

Other bird flu viruses (particularly H7N7 and H9N2) have also infected people, but these
have rarely caused severe illness.

o Although these viruses don’t infect humans easily, and are usually not
transmitted from human to human, people can become infected if they live in
close contact with birds but this is rare. A number of deaths have occurred
worldwide as a result of infection.

o More importantly Avian Influenza viruses can exchange genetic material with
human influenza viruses and a new virus can emerge capable of being spread
rapidly between people and this is what makes Avian Influenza a potential threat
to human safety.

Typically HPAI presents suddenly with affected birds showing:

oedema of the head,

cyanosis of the comb and wattles,

dullness, a loss of appetite

respiratory distress

diarrhoea and a drop in egg production.

These latest cases should serve as a reminder to the poultry industry of the importance of poultry
keepers maintaining the highest levels of biosecurity, remaining vigilant for the signs of disease and
reporting any suspicions of disease to their vet immediately. Avian Influenza may be transmitted by
a variety of routes:
o Direct Contact between infected wild birds and domesticated birds

o Direct contact with secretions from infected wild birds especially faeces

o Via contaminated vehicles, personnel, equipment, clothing, water or feed.

Good biosecurity measures include :

Strictly limiting and controlling access to poultry flocks

Protecting poultry from wild birds, for example preventing wild birds from access to poultry flocks, feed
and equipment, and for free range birds, arranging feeding and water so that wild birds are not
attracted and mixing between poultry and wild birds is reduced. Preventing the accumulation of
standing water which might attract waterfowl and removing spilled feed that could attract wild birds

Wearing clean overalls and footwear when entering poultry farms: protective clothing and footwear
should be removed and either cleansed and disinfected, laundered or disposed of after use.

o Cleansing and disinfecting all vehicles after each journey to a poultry farm

o Having disinfectant and cleaning material ready at farm entrances, so essential visitors can
disinfect themselves before entering and leaving premises

o Supplying only clean fresh drinking water to birds

o Regularly cleaning and maintaining feed bins, hoppers and feeding equipment

o Only obtaining feed from a mill or supplier that operates in accordance with relevant Defra,
Agricultural Industries Confederation or credible assurance.

Rabies is a notifiable, zoonotic disease under the Animal Health Act 1981.
All rabies viruses belong to the genus Lyssavirus within a family of bullet shaped viruses
known as the Rhabdoviridae. The most commonly found strain of rabies is called rabies
virus (RABV; genotype 1) which is the type that infects both terrestrial animals worldwide
and bats in the Americas.
Although all mammals are susceptible to rabies, carnivores (e.g. dogs, foxes) act as the
principal reservoirs of infection.

Transmission and Incubation

1. The disease is most commonly transmitted by the bite of an infected animal, with over
99% of rabies cases being transmitted in this way, although other routes include
contamination of open wounds, scratches or mucous membranes with infected saliva.
2. The incubation period is variable and depends on the strain of rabies virus, the infective
dose, the site of the bite and species variation.
3. The incubation period in dogs and cats is typically a few weeks and any dog or cat
incubating rabies is highly likely to develop the disease and die within four months.

4. Animals may be infectious before the onset of clinical signs and an assessment will be
necessary in terms of exposure when rabies is diagnosed in an animal.

The clinical signs of Rabies

1. Rabid animals will usually show changes in behaviour and these are typically seen in the
early stages of the disease.
2. Animals may become hyperactive and show hypersensitivity to noise and light.
3. As the disease progresses the eyes take on a staring expression, the mandible may
droop and there may be copious salivation.
4. A general pruritus and polydipsia may develop.
5. Some animals may show increased aggression.
6. The final stages of disease are characterised by a weakness of the muscles, especially
the legs, tail and mandible, dysphagia and salivation and general paralysis which may be
followed by convulsions and coma before death.
The UK is currently free from terrestrial rabies.

Rabies in bats
European bat lyssavirus (EBLV) 2 has been detected at low prevalence in Daubenton’s bats
in the UK.
The occurrence of EBLV in the UK does not affect our disease-free status, as this is based
upon freedom from terrestrial rabies.
European Bat Lyssavirus (EBLV) is a rabies-like virus, which infects insectivorous bats in
Europe. It comes from the same family of viruses as rabies, but is a different strain. There
are two subtypes of EBLV designated 1 and 2.
Rabies in bats
EBLV1 is hosted primarily by serotine bats and EBLV2 is hosted by Daubenton's bats. Both
are found throughout Europe including the UK and into Asia.
Unlike in terrestrial mammals, rabies in bats may not always be fatal. Bats may become
carriers of the infection and excrete virus, potentially infecting other bats and any
terrestrial mammal with which they may have direct contact.

IV. Bluetongue

Bluetongue affects:
 sheep
 other ruminants such as cows and goats
 camelids such as llamas
Humans aren’t affected, nor are animal products or meat.
The last outbreak in England, Scotland or Wales was in 2007.
How to spot bluetongue
APHA will investigate if you report that you suspect a case of bluetongue.
In sheep
In sheep the main signs of bluetongue are:
 ulcers in the mouth
 discharge of mucus and drooling from mouth and nose
 swelling of the mouth, head and neck and the coronary band (where the skin of the leg meets
the horn of the foot)
Other clinical signs include:
 red skin as a result of blood collecting beneath the surface
 fever
 lameness
 breathing problems
In cattle
Cattle are the main carriers of bluetongue. Infected cattle generally do not show any signs
of the disease, but occasionally signs can include:
 swelling and ulcers in the mouth
 nasal discharge
 red skin and eyes as a result of blood collecting beneath the surface
 swollen teats
 tiredness
Other animals rarely show signs of the disease.

How bluetongue is spread

Midges carry the bluetongue virus. The disease spreads when infected midges bite an
animal affected by the disease. The midge season is normally March to September. The
weather (especially temperature and wind direction) affects how the disease can spread.
Preventing and controlling bluetongue
You can help to prevent the disease by practising good biosecurity on your premises.
If you trade animals from outside the UK, you should consider whether they might be
carrying the disease.
If bluetongue is confirmed APHA will control the outbreak by following the contingency
plan for exotic notifiable diseases and the bluetongue control strategy.
If there is an outbreak then APHA will place movement restrictions in zones around the
affected premises.
Getting your animals vaccinated
You can get and use authorised bluetongue vaccines for your sheep and cattle. You need
to get a general licence to vaccinate your animals if they’re outside a restricted zone for
If you’re considering whether to vaccinate your animals, you should speak to your vet
about the benefits of vaccination. It can take up to 6 weeks for your animals to be fully
immune as your animals must have 2 injections of the vaccine, 3 weeks apart.

V. African horse sickness

African horse sickness affects horses.

It doesn’t affect humans.
There has never been an outbreak in Great Britain.
How to spot African horse sickness
Signs of African horse sickness may include:
 swelling and redness around the eyes and elsewhere on the face
 frothing and discharge from nostrils
 fever
 slow and heavy breathing
 coughing
 swollen face
How African horse sickness is spread
African horse sickness is carried and spread by midges. It’s not spread directly between
Preventing and controlling African horse sickness
You can help prevent disease by practising strict biosecurity on your premises.
If you report suspicion of African horse sickness APHA vets will investigate.
If African horse sickness is confirmed, the outbreak will be controlled in line with
the contingency plan for exotic notifiable diseases and the African horse sickness control

VI. Lumpy skin disease

Lumpy skin disease affects cattle and water buffalo. Humans aren’t affected.

It has never been present in Great Britain.

How to spot lumpy skin disease
Infected cattle and water buffalo may have a fever and their milk production may fall. Other
signs may include:
 nodules: small bumps beneath the skin in the nose, mouth and on the body
 yellowish-grey lesions (damage to the skin) on the tongue
 swollen and tender udder or testicles
 discharge from the eye and nose
 salivation from the mouth
 bulls becoming sterile and cows having abortions
 swollen lymph nodes, for example beneath the neck
The nodules may form a hardened crust, which carries the infection.
How lumpy skin disease is spread
Lumpy skin disease is thought to be spread by biting flies and mosquitoes, which feed on the
skin lesions.
Minor routes of infection are close contact with infected animals and contaminated food
and water.
Preventing and controlling lumpy skin disease
You can help prevent disease by practising practising strict biosecurity on your premises.
If you report suspicion of lumpy skin disease APHA vets will investigate.
If lumpy skin disease is confirmed the outbreak will be controlled in line with
the contingency plan for exotic notifiable diseases and the lumpy skin disease control

VII. Bovine TB Tuberculosis

How to spot bovine TB

It is hard to spot bovine TB as the signs are similar to other diseases and
normally only develop in advanced stages of infection.
The disease is normally picked up in the compulsory cattle testing
programme before clinical signs develop. Occasionally it is also detected
during inspections of slaughtered cattle.
But you should look out for cattle that:
 keep getting thinner
 have a light fever that keeps coming back
 are weak and have a reduced appetite
Some infected cattle will also have:
 swollen lymph nodes, for example in the neck
 a moist cough that gets worse in the morning and during cold weather or exercise
 chronic mastitis (an infection of the udder that is not cured by the conventional
antibiotic therapy)
Risk to humans
Humans can catch bovine TB through:
 unpasteurised milk or dairy products from an infected cow, buffalo, goat or sheep
 inhaling bacteria breathed out by infected animals
 inhaling bacteria released from the carcasses of infected animals or from their
excretions (such as faeces)
Infection is more likely if an unprotected wound is exposed to bacteria from an
infected animal.
But the risk of infection is very low for the vast majority of the population.
Symptoms are similar to human TB, including weight loss, fever, night sweats
and a persistent cough. If you develop these symptoms consult a doctor. The
disease can be treated by a complex combination of drugs over a long period.
More information on TB in humans.
How to reduce the risk of infection
To avoid infection:
 isolate suspect animals and their carcasses
 do not get too close to the heads of infected animals or hold them
 avoid unpasteurised milk from suspect animals
 wash your hands regularly, especially before eating and smoking
 don’t eat, drink or smoke in animal areas
How bovine TB is spread
Bovine TB is mainly spread into new herds through the movement of infected
cattle that have not been detected.
In the west of England and parts of Wales the disease is also spread from
infected badgers to other animals, including cattle, and vice versa.
Infected animals spread the disease mainly through coughing and sneezing.
Bacteria are released into the air and inhaled by other animals in close contact.
The disease can also be spread:
 from infected cows to their offspring during suckling and, much more rarely, in
the womb
 through contaminated equipment, animal waste, feed and pasture
Preventing and controlling bovine TB
Preventing bovine TB
There are a range of controls in place to reduce the spread of bovine TB.
These controls form the basis of the strategy for achieving bovine TB free
status for England.
You should also practise strict biosecurity on your premises.
A series of videos about farm biosecurity is also available which shows
practical measures to reduce the risk of TB from wildlife.

VIII. Equine infectious anaemia

Equine infectious anaemia only affects horses.

Humans aren’t affected.
The last outbreak in Great Britain was in 2012.
This epidemiology report is a summary of the investigations by APHA to
control the 2 incidents of equine infectious anaemia in Cornwall and Devon in

How to spot equine infectious anaemia

Some infected animals don’t show signs of equine infectious anaemia, or
signs are overlooked because they don’t last for long.
Clinical signs can include:

recurring fever
tiredness, weakness and depression
loss of appetite and weight loss
How equine infections anaemia is spread
Equine infections anaemia is transmitted by large horseflies. The flies are only
active from May to September, with a peak in July and August.

The horseflies only travel short distances to feed, but the disease can be
carried over long distances by infected horses or contaminated blood

The disease can also be spread through medical equipment such as needles
or in the semen of infected animals.

Preventing and controlling equine infectious anaemia

You can help prevent equine infectious anaemia by practising good
biosecurity on your premises. There is a vaccine.

If you report suspicion of equine infectious anaemia, APHA vets will


If the disease is confirmed the outbreak will be controlled in line with the
contingency plan for exotic notifiable diseases.

IX. Equine viral arteritis

Equine viral arteritis affects horses, donkeys and other equids.

It doesn’t affect humans.
The last confirmed case in Great Britain was in 2012.
Equine viral arteritis is a notifiable disease in:
 stallions (male horses)
 mares (female horses) that have mated or been inseminated within 14 days
How to spot equine viral arteritis
Signs of equine viral arteritis can include:
 conjunctivitis (bloody tissue around the eye known as ‘pink eye’)
 swelling of testicles or udder, also around eyes and lower legs
 abortions (failed pregnancies in mares)
 fever and runny nose
 depression
 lethargy and stiff movement
Some infected horses will show no clinical signs.
How equine viral arteritis is spread
Equine viral arteritis can be spread through:
 mating
 artificial insemination
 contact with aborted foetuses
 on the breath of infected animals
Stallions can carry the disease for extended periods without showing clinical
signs and spread the disease through sexual contact or if their semen is used
to artificially inseminate a mare.
Preventing and controlling equine viral arteritis
You can help prevent the disease by:
 vaccinating horses and ponies against the disease - talk to your vet for advice
 practising good biosecurity on your premises, especially if you’re involved in
If you suspect equine viral arteritis, APHA vets will investigate.
If equine viral arteritis is confirmed the outbreak will be controlled in line with
the contingency plan for exotic notifiable diseases.
Stallions suspected of having equine viral arteritis may be banned from use in
breeding, along with semen from that stallion.

X. Newcastle disease
Newcastle disease affects chickens and other captive and wild birds.

Humans aren’t normally affected, but people in direct contact with infected
birds may develop a very short-term eye infection, which passes without

The disease was last confirmed in Great Britain in 2006.

Latest situation
If you keep poultry or birds, you must keep a close watch for, and report, any
signs of Newcastle disease.
There’s now a low risk of the disease in the UK. During summer 2018, there
were cases reported in Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden. You
can read our assessment of the risk.
How to spot Newcastle disease
As the disease develops affected birds may show some of the following signs:
 respiratory distress such as gaping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling, rattling
 nervous signs characterised by tremors and paralysis and twisting of the neck
 unusually watery faeces (diarrhoea) that are yellowish-green in colour
 depression
 lack of appetite
Affected hens may also suddenly produce fewer eggs. Eggs that are laid may
be soft-shelled.
The disease may lead to intense clinical signs, with a sudden onset leading to
likely death. Or it may have a lesser affect, with breathing problems and lower
egg production the only detectable clinical signs.
How Newcastle disease is spread
The disease is spread by direct contact with bodily fluids of infected birds,
especially their faeces.
It can also be spread indirectly through people and objects that have been in
contact with infected birds, or their excretions (such as faeces). Objects that
can carry the disease include:
 vehicles
 equipment
 clothing
 water and feed
The disease can spread from wild to kept birds. Pigeons may carry pigeon
paramyxovirus, which can cause Newcastle disease in kept birds.
Preventing and controlling Newcastle disease
You can help prevent the disease by:
 vaccinating your animals against the disease - talk to your vet for advice
 practising strict biosecurity on your premises
If you report suspicion of Newcastle disease, APHA vets will investigate.
If the disease is confirmed, the outbreak will be controlled in line with
the contingency plan for exotic notifiable diseases and the control strategy for
notifiable avian diseases will be implemented.

XI. Porcine epidemic diarrhea

PED is a disease caused by the porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV),
leading to rapidly spreading diarrhoea and dehydration in pigs of any age.

It doesn’t affect other farmed or domestic animals, or humans.

How to spot PED

Pigs with PED may show the following signs:

diarrhoea spreads quickly in a group of pigs over a few days

50% or more have diarrhoea
death of 30 to 100% of young suckling piglets if the virus is a severe strain
diarrhoea in older pigs is temporary and they recover
diarrhoea tends to be watery
reduced appetite

How PEDV is spread

PEDV is highly infectious.
It’s spread by contact with infected pigs or anything with their faeces on it
 people
 vehicles
 equipment
 bedding
 feed
 manure
Preventing PED
You can help to prevent the disease by practising strict biosecurity.

XII. West Nile fever: how to spot and report the disease
West Nile fever affects a variety of animals including but not limited to:

How to spot West Nile fever
In horses clinical signs can include:

lack of energy
loss of coordination
weakness in limbs leading to stumbling
Some horses will not show any signs at all.

Birds are the main carrier of West Nile fever, but not all species show signs of
the disease.

Risk to humans from West Nile virus

Humans can be affected by West Nile virus, although often the infection does
not lead to any symptoms. If present, the most common symptoms are a flu-
like illness.

Most mild infections resolve in a few days. A more severe disease develops in
less than 1% of cases.

See Public Health England information about West Nile virus in the UK.

You can read more about West Nile virus in humans at NHS Choices.

How West Nile fever is spread

The disease is spread by mosquitoes. It is not spread directly between

Birds are the most common carriers and may spread West Nile fever between
countries when they migrate.

Preventing and controlling West Nile fever

You can help prevent the disease by practising strict biosecurity on your

If you report suspicion of West Nile fever, APHA vets will investigate.

If the disease is confirmed it will be controlled in line with the contingency plan
for exotic notifiable diseases.

XIII. Scrapie
Scrapie is a fatal brain disease ( prionic )that affects sheep and goats.
It is not known to pose a risk to human health.
How to spot scrapie
There are 2 types of scrapie - classical scrapie and atypical scrapie.
Classical scrapie usually affects animals aged between 2 and 5 years old. It is
highly contagious and can be spread via colostrum and milk, and via
contamination animals in buildings, bedding, equipment (feeding troughs)
from infected animals, and pastures where animals have given birth.
Atypical scrapie usually affects animals older than 5. Cases usually occur in
individual animals and it is believed to be little or not contagious at all.
Affected animals may:
 become excitable
 have drooping ears
 act nervously or aggressively
 lag behind other animals
 show signs of depression or a vacant stare
 tremble (this usually affects the head)
 have an unusual high stepping trot
 lack coordination and stumble or stand awkwardly
 have weak hind legs or be unable to stand
 unable to stand
 weight loss - this is a late clinical sign
Their skin may be irritated which can mean they:
 repeatedly rub their heads and bodies against fences, posts or hay racks
 repeatedly scratch their flanks - horned animals may use their horns
 nibble or grind teeth when rubbing themselves or when rubbed firmly on the back
 repeatedly scratch their shoulders or ears with a hind foot
 nibble the feet, legs or other parts of the body in an agitated way
 have excessive wool loss or skin damage
Scrapie will eventually kill any animals that are affected by it.
Preventing and controlling scrapie
You can help prevent the disease by practising strict biosecurity on your
Cleaning and disinfecting
The classical scrapie agent can remain in the environment for several years.
However, it’s resistant to most commercial disinfectants and thorough
cleaning and disinfection of buildings will still reduce the level of infection.
You must disinfect buildings and equipment according to Environment Agency
requirements, if you’re in England or Wales.
If you’re in Scotland, you must follow Scottish Environmental Protection
Agency requirements.
Breeding for resistance
Some sheep are more genetically resistant to classical scrapie than others.
But there appears to be no genetic resistance to classicial scrapie in goats.
You can use genotype testing to identify scrapie resistant sheep and then try
to breed animals that are more resistant.
Talk to your vet to find out more about how to do this.
Buying resistant animals
You can make sure any animals you buy are either:
 genetically resistant to classical scrapie
 from flocks or herds which have been monitored for at least 3 years and are found
to be free of classical scrapie
Milk and colostrum
Classical scrapie can be spread through colostrum and milk.
You should make sure any replacement colostrum or milk you buy comes from
flocks or herds which have been monitored for at least 3 years and are found
to be free of classical scrapie.
Don’t use pooled colostrum or milk in intensively managed flocks or herds of
animals that are genetically susceptible to classical scrapie - use cow
colostrum or artificial milk replacers instead.
Lambing or kidding
Sheep and goats can be infected by classical scrapie if they come into contact
with birth fluids or afterbirth from infected animals.
You should remove afterbirths as soon as possible - you should also regularly
clean and disinfect buildings you use for lambing or kidding.

XIV. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), known as mad cow disease, is a fatal brain
disease that affects cattle.

How to spot BSE

Affected cattle do not usually show signs of BSE until they’re at least 4 or 5 years old.

Cattle with BSE may slowly develop some of the following signs over a period of weeks
or months:

 change in behaviour

 apprehension or nervousness (flighty)

 repeated, exaggerated reactions to touch or sound

 weakness or high stepping of the legs, particularly the hind legs

 reluctance to cross concrete or drains, turn corners or enter yards or go through


 aggression towards humans or towards other cattle

 manic kicking during milking or reluctance to allow milking

 head held low

 difficulty in rising, progressing to recumbency

 tremors under the skin

 loss of body condition, weight or milk yield

 excessive nose licking

Feeding animals

There is a ban on feeding any animal protein to ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats) and on
feeding processed animal protein to all farmed animals, although there are exceptions.

See the guidance on TSE regulations and feed controls.

See guidance on how to feed milk or milk products to animals on your farm, and
guidance on how to use leftover milk or milk products as farm animal feed.

Disposing of Specific Risk Material

Specific Risk Materials (SRM) are body parts of cattle or sheep that may contain
significant amounts of prion in infected animals. Prion is the protein that can
causes BSE when eaten by cattle.

Different animal parts are considered SRM, depending on whether they’re from a sheep
or a cow and the age of the animal. All body parts of cattle born in the UK before 1
August 1996 are SRM and are banned from entering the food chain.

See the guidance on disposing of ABPs and animal by-product categories.

Movement restrictions

You must apply for a movement licence to move any cattle born or reared in the UK
before 1 August 1996.

This is to prevent any meat or other body parts from these animals entering the food
chain. Milk from these animals can be sold for human consumption.

Testing cattle for BSE

Cattle slaughtered for human consumption

You must have cattle that were slaughtered for human consumption tested for BSE if
they meet both of the following conditions:

 they were born in Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia or any non-EU country

 they were older than 30 months and disease-free at the time of slaughter

Cattle sent for emergency slaughter or fallen stock

You must have cattle tested for BSE if they meet any of the following conditions:

 they’ve been sent for emergency slaughter

 they were found to be sick in an inspection after death

 they’re fallen stock, ie their death was not due to being slaughtered for human

This rule applies to cattle that are either:

 older than 48 months, if born in EU member states except Romania, Bulgaria

and Croatia

 older than 24 months if born in Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, or any non-EU

You must send fallen cattle that require BSE testing to an approved BSEsampling site.