Possible BSE find in a UK goat
Tuesday 8 February 2005
The Agency has been informed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) that a sample, reportedly taken from a Scottish goat that died in 1990, has shown that the goat may have had BSE.
Archived tissues from this animal were recently tested by Defra’s Veterinary Laboratory Agency, but confirmation of BSE requires further tests and these will take up to two years.
Few if any goats from 1990 are likely to still be alive today and BSE has not been found in the current UK goat population. It may be possible for BSE in goats to pass down through the generations and the current precautionary controls would not remove all infectivity from the goat meat were the animal to enter the food chain.
However, animals that show visible signs of transmissible spongiform encepohalopathy, which includes BSE, are not permitted to enter the food chain.
If confirmed, the Scottish case would be the second goat to test positive for BSE, following confirmation on 28 January 2005 that a French goat that died in 2002 had BSE.
On the basis of the current evidence, the Agency is not advising people against eating goat meat or products, including dairy products.