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J., Powell, J., and Anderton, B , eds), Elbs Horwood, London, pp. 243-255.
26 Wilesmith, J W (1994) Update on the epidemiology of bovine spongtform
encephalopathy m Great Britain, m TransmlsslbleSponglform Encephalopathzes
(Bradley, R. and Marchant, B., eds.), Commrsstonof the European Communities,
September 14-15, Brussels,pp l-12
27 (1995) Bovme Spongtform Encephalopathy An Update Report, May 1995. Mm-
rstry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. London
28 Wells, G A H and Wilesmith, J W. (1995) The neuropathology and eptdemtol-
ogy of bovine spongtform encephalopathy. Brain Pathol. 5,91-103.
29 Homville, L J (1992) MSc Thesis, London University.
30 Wtlesmtth, J. W , Homvtlle, L J , Ryan, J B M , and Sayers, A R (1992) Bovme
sponglform encephalopathy* aspectsof the clinical picture and analyses of pos-
sible changes Vet Ret 130, 197-201
BSE Analysis in the UK 173

31 Homvtlle, L J. (1994) Declme m the mctdence of BSE m cattle born after the
mtroductton of the “feed ban”. Vet Ret 134,214,275
32 Ktmberlm, R H and Wtlesmrth, J W (1994) Bovine spongiform encephalopathy
(BSE): eprdemtology, low dose exposure and risks Ann NYAcad SCI 724,2 l&220
33 Spongtform Encephalopathy Advtsory Committee (1995) Transmissible Spongtform
Encephalopathtes A summary of present knowledge and research, September
1994 HMSO, London
34. Wilesmtth, J W (1995) Recent observations on the eprdemtology of bovine
spongrform encephalopathy, in Proceedrngs of Vlth International Workshop on
Bovwe Spongzform Encephalopathy The BSE Dilemma (Gibbs, C J., ed.), Serono
Symposia Norwell, VA, m press
35 Richards, M S , Wtlesmtth, J. W., Ryan, J B M., Mttchell, A P , Wooldrtdge,
M. J A., Sayers, A R , and Homvtlle, L J (1993) Methods of predrctmg BSE
incidence, m Proceedzngs of the Soczety for Veteruzary Epldemlology and Pre-
ventive Meduxne (Thrusfield, M V , ed.), The Society, pp. 70-81
36 Holford, T. R (1992) Analysing the temporal effects of age, period and cohort
Stat Meth. Med. Res I,3 17-337.
37 Hunter, N , Goldmann, W , Smith, G , and Hope J (1994) Frequencres of PrP
gene variants m healthy cattle and cattle wrth BSE m Scotland Vet Ret 135,
400-403
38. Dawson, M., Wells, G A H , and Parker, B N. J (1990) Prehmmary evrdence of
of bovine spongtform encephalopathy to cattle Vet Ret 126,
the transmtsstblhty
112,113
39. Dawson, M., Wells, G A H , Parker, B. N. J., Francis, M. E , Scott, A C ,
Hawkins, S A C , Martin, T C , Summons, M M , and Austin, A R (1994)
Transmission studies of BSE m cattle, pigs and domestrc fowl, m Transmzsszble
Sponglform Encephalopathles (Bradley, R. and Marchant, B , eds ), Commtsston
of the European Commumties, September 14-15, Brussels, pp. 16 l-l 67.
Handling the BSE Epidemic in Great Britain
David A. J. Tyrrell and Kevin C. Taylor

1. Introduction
Henry Ford thought that hlstory was bunk; Hegel 1s supposed to have said
that “people and governments never have learnt anything from history,” and
Dlsraeh advised us to “read no history.” The authors of this chapter are less
drsmissive, taking the alternative view that those who ignore history are des-
tined to repeat It, which 1s the view that underscores this essay on the response
to Bovine Sponglform Encephalopathy (BSE); an unforeseen disease, induced
by human activity, that had important impacts on government and vetermary
and medical affairs. It 1s unlikely that such an event will occur again, at least m
exactly the same way, but it IS worth telling the story of how sclentlfic findings
contributed m planned and unplanned ways and how the complex nexus of
regulations, the legislature, the media, and mternatlonal relations developed;
we learned lessons along the way that we believe could be applied with profit
in the face of another such epidemic. The account 1s not intended to be compre-
hensive: It 1s a selective and incomplete history that concentrates on the most
important issues. A chronology (see Table 1) that relates events to control mea-
sures gives further details, and a brief reading list 1s provided for those who
wish to study the subject in greater detail.
2. Before the Storm
It 1scommon to talk of “the calm before the storm,” but m fact BSE emerged
in a period of many and varied activltles, only some of which, and then only
recognized m retrospect, were relevant to the epldemlc.
During the second half of the 20th century the British farming industry was
busy adapting itself to changes m the market and sclentlfic knowledge. The
number of farms decreased and the size of herds increased. New breeds were
(text cotztlnued on p 182)

From Methods m Molecular Medicme Pr/on Diseases
Edltecl by H Baker and R M Rldley Humana Press Inc , Totowa, NJ


175
Table 1
Chronology of Events in the United Kingdom (to December 31,1994)
Date Event Statutory actlon
November 1986 Disease Identified by Central Vetermary Laboratory fol-
lowmg study of affected cow referred to Weybndge for
mvesttgatlon and post mortem Transmlsslon expenments
needed that required fresh matenal from ammals thought
to be suffering from the same problem
Aprd 1987 Initial epldemlologlcal studies started ObJective was to
obtain detailed data from a case study of 200 herds
CVO informs Ministers about new disease Transmlsslon
June 5, 1987
expenment then put under way Normal time for disease
to develop m mice about 10 mo Results available
September 1988 and published October 1988 m
Veterrnaly Record
December I$1987 Initial epldemlology studies completed Concluded
ruminant-derived meat and bonemeal was only viable
hypothesis for cause of BSE
January-March 1988 Double checkmg of feeding histories of affected animals
initiated, request sent to compounders for details of
mcluslon of meat and bonemeal m ratlons fed
Responses from compounders further substantiated hypoth-
April-May 1988
esis for cause of BSE Government indicated that they
would legislate to make BSE notifiable and to ban feeding
of rations that contained protein derived from ruminants
April 21, 1988 Southwood Working Party announced
Dlscusslons with maJor compounders on tlmmg of ruml-
June 1988
nant feed ban
June 20, 1988 Southwood Working Party held first meeting and decided
to issue interim advice lmmedlately
June 21. 1988 Disease made notifiable, and lsolatlon of suspects when
calving required, by BSE Order 1988
Interim advlce received from Southwootiestroy affected
June 22, 1988
cattle proposed feed ban welcomed
July 7, 1988 Declslon to introduce slaughter pohcy announced
Ruminant feed ban comes into force (not advlsed by
July 18, 1988
Southwood but later welcomed by Working Party m
their report) Included m BSE Order 1988 but ample-
mentatlon delayed until July 18 Ban to apply until
December 3 1, 1988
August 8, 1988 Slaughter pohcy Introduced Compensation paid at 50%
value for confirmed cases, 100% for negative, both
SubJect to a ceiling
Transmission to mice followmg mtracerebral mocuiatlon
October 1988
of BSE bram tissue reported m Veterma y Record
Further interim advice received from Southwood-extend
November 15, 1988
feed ban and destroy milk from suspect cattle
November 30, 1988 Declslon announced to prolong feed ban and destroy milk
from affected cattle
Legislation came mto force to prolong feed ban and to
December 30, 1988
prohibit use of mdk from suspect cattle for any purpose
other than feeding to cow™s own calf
February 9, 1989 Southwood Report received by Ministers
Southwood Report published and Government response
February 27, 1989
announced (all recommendations have or ˜111 be
introduced)
EC ban on export of cattle born before July 18, 1988
July 28, 1989
and offsprmg of affected or suspect ammals (Declslon
841469lEEC)
November 13, 1989 Offals ban Regulation came mto force m England and
Wales (following consultation-a legal requirement-
and conslderatlon by top experts)
(contrnwed)
Table 1 (continued)
Date Event Statutory action
January 9, 1990 Pubhcatlon of Tyrrell Report and Government response (all
top and medmm pnonty work recommended under way
or would be undertaken) Pubhcatlon delayed so Gov-
ernment could ensure financing for R&D was m place
Research itself was not delayed
January 30, 1990 Offals ban Introduced m Scotland followmg addltlonal
consultation
Announcement that five antelopes have succumbed to a
January 3 1, 1990
sponglform encephalopathy (great kudu, arabian oryx,
eland, nyala, and gemsbok) The last two were referred
to m Southwood report
Cattle-to-cattle transmlsslon followmg mtracerebral and
February 3, 1990
intravenous moculatlon of BSE brain tissue, and mto
mice via the oral route, reported m Vetermzry Record,
followmg press briefing on February 2
February 14, 1990 Full compensation up to a cellmg Introduced There was
no sudden upsurge of cases, and pattern of reportmg
was unaffected
March 30, 1990 Ban on export of specltied offal and certain glands and
organs (for uses other than human consumption) to
other Member States
April 1, 1990 Disease made notifiable to European Commlsslon
(Declslon 90/l 34/EEC made March 6)
April 3, 1990 Announcement about the estabhshment of permanent
advisory group on sponglform encephalopathles under
chaumanshlp of David Tyrrell
April 9, 1990 EC declslon to ban exports of SBO and other tissues
(90/200/EEC)
April 11, 1990 Humberstde County Council withdraw Brltlsh beef from
school meals
Announcement about cat wrth a spongrform encephalopathy
May lo,1990
May 17, 1990 Announcement that decisions about breeding should be
left to mdrvrdual farmers and then veterinary advrsors
Council of Mmrsters agree on arrangements for trade in beef
June 8, 1990
and calves from UK (Decision 90/261/EEC made June 8)
Publication of Tyrrell Committee™s detailed reasoning on
July 12, 1990
why there was no need to give officral advice on
breeding from offspring of BSE cases
Report of Agriculture Committee published
July 12, 1990
UK progress report to OIE meeting
July 23, 1990
Ban on use of specified bovme offals m any animal feed
September 25, 1990
mtroduced Exports of such feed also effectively banned
to other Member States. (Thud country exports banned
under DTI legtslation on July 10, 1991)
OIE meeting m Pans, recommendations made regarding
September 28-29, 1990
trade m hve cattle, beef, dairy, and bovine products and
coordmatron of research
October 2-5, 1990 OIE Conference m Sofia (Bulgaria), recommendations
made regarding trade, prevention, control and survell-
lance of BSE, the support of research, and the need for
further consideration on trade m live animals
New record-keeping arrangements come mto force requmng
October 15, 1990
cattle farmers to mamtam breeding records These and
movement records to be retamed for 10 yr
November 21,199O Publication of Government response to Agriculture
Committee report
March 27, 1991 First case of BSE m animal born after feed ban announced
May 1991 UK Progress Report to the OIE General Assembly
The Export of Goods (Control) (Amendment No 7) Order
July 10, 1991
199 1 came mto force controlhng export of SBOs to
thud countries (Dept of Trade and Industry legislation)
(conmued)
Table 1 (continued)
Date Event Statutory actlon
September 1620, 199 1 Meeting of OIE International Animal Health Code
Commission in Paris
November 6,199l Mam legislation re-enacted as a smgle statutory instrument
including new provlslons to prevent the use of meat
and bone meal produced from SBOs as a fertilizer
March 4, 1992 Results of further experiments on the host range of BSE
announced Also that the Tyrrell CommIttee had con-
sidered the latest BSE research and concluded that the
measures at present m place provide adequate safeguards
for human and animal health
May 1992 UK Progress Report to the OIE General Assembly
OIE General Assembly m Pans agree on trading condltlons
May 1992
for bovine products from countries affected by BSE
May 14,1992 EC Commlsslon Decision prohlbltmg mtra-Community
trade m bovine embryos derived from BSE suspect
or confirmed dams or dams born after 7/l 8188
(Decision 92/290/EEC)
June 30, 1992 Publlcatlon of the “Interim Report on Research” by the
Sponglform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee
November 1992 UK Progress Report presented to the EC Standing
Veterinary Committee
November 24, 1992 Announced by PQ that details of the total number of cases
(by county) would be placed regularly m the library
of the House of Commons
May 24,1993 UK Progress Report presented to the OIE General Assembly
June IO,1993 UK Progress Report presented to the EC Standing Vetermary
Committee (same as OIE Progress Report)
July 14, 1993 100,OOOth confirmed case of BSE m Great Bntam announced
m response to a Parhamentary Question, as an update
to the UK Progress Report to the OIE
November 25, 1993 GB Progress Report placed m the lrbrary of the House
of Commons
Changes to the BSE compensation arrangements mtroduced
January 2 1, 1994
Apnl26, 1994 GB Progress Report placed m the hbrary of the House
of Commons
May 1994 UK Progress Report presented to the OIE General Assembly
June 27. 1994 Commtsston Dectsion 94/38 1 on BSE and feedmg of
mammalian-dertved protem made
June 1994 UK Progress Report updated

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