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Ungulates: transmissible spongiform encephalopathies declining in 2022

Six more cases of scrapie: Italy, Spain and Portugal among the most affected countries /EFSA attachment

In 2022, the scenario regarding transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) in domestic and non-domestic ungulates remained substantially unchanged. This is reported by monitoring carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the 27 member states of the European Union, with the addition of the United Kingdom (limited to Northern Ireland only), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey.

As regards cattle (tested in the EU and Northern Ireland), the measurement was carried out on 977,008 heads and there was a reduction of 4.3% compared to the previous year and with one case of H-Bse in France .

In total, 404,219 sheep and goats were tested in 2022 in the EU-27 and Northern Ireland: 295,145 sheep (with -5.2% compared to 2021) and 109,074 goats (-7.9%). Regarding sheep, 557 cases of scrapie were reported in the EU and Northern Ireland in 2022, six more cases than in 2021. Of these, 480 were cases of classical scrapie (86.2%) while 77 were of atypical scrapie (13.8%). Among the five other non-EU reporting countries that tested sheep, Norway reported 16 cases of atypical scrapie.

The majority of sheep cases in the EU-27 and Northern Ireland (92.3%) were reported from five countries: Greece, Italy, Romania and Spain (for classical scrapie) and Portugal (for the atypical), in line with the data of previous years.

In sheep, 169 (30.3%) of the EU-27 and Northern Ireland cases reported in 2022 were index cases, with a much higher proportion in atypical scrapie cases (98.7%) than in scrapie cases classical (19.4%).

The full EFSA study is attached to this EFA News .

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EFA News - European Food Agency