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Cow and German Ministers
2: BSE crisis timeline
The cattle epidemic
BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) first occurred in the middle of
the eighties in England. Farm cattle had been fed there for many years
with animal fodder from the ground sheep corpses, which had suffered from
scrapy, a spongelike brain damage. Scrapy rages for more than 200 years
in British sheep herds. Humans were obviously never affected by it. Here's
the chronology of BSE crisis in Europe:
The British government forbids sales of the sheep-based feed to cattle
owners, as well as the sales of infected cows' meat and milk.
June 1989: Germany and France issue
a general import prohibition for British beef. After protests by the European
Union (EU)-commission, the regulation was later however removed. From
then on the prohibition concerns only calves and beef bowels.
February 1992: One cow imported from
England, dies of BSE in Schleswig-Holstein. However it was reported by
the Federal Department of Agriculture only at the beginning of 1994.
June 1994: The sales of animal-based
feed for the ruminants is forbidden in the EU. Animal-based feed for other
animals such as pigs, poultry or fish remains permitted. The British government
suppose meanwhile that sheep-based feed was also used after the prohibition
March 20, 1996: The British government
confess publicly that human health could be dangerously affected by BSE.
There is a possible connection with the new version of the Creutzfeldt-Jakob
March 27, 1996: The EU commission
imposes a world-wide export prohibition for British beef and its by-products.
In April Great Britain is obligated to slaughter and destroy four million
cattle older than 30 months.
June 5, 1996: The EU commission loosens
the export prohibition for beef seeds, fat and gelatin. In the end of
June the EU state governments adopt a plan for a gradual removal of the
July 17, 1996: The European parliament
creates an investigation committee in order to uncover possible omissions
in the fight with BSE.
July 18, 1996: In all EU countries
usable animal wastes must be exposed to a pressure of three bar and a
temperature of 133 degrees Celsius during 20 minutes in order to kill
February 25, 1997: Great Britain demands
to remove the export prohibition for not infected cattle from Scotland
and Northern Ireland. In June 1998 beef export from Northern Ireland was
Beginning of 1998: Swiss researchers
develop a fast BSE test. According to the previous procedure, the result
was only available after several weeks, while the new test already gave
results after approximately ten to twelve hours.
14, 1999: The EU commission removes the world-wide export prohibition
for British beef.
May 5, 2000: From the beginning of
the next year fast BSE tests for cattle are prescribed all around EU.
November 22, 2000: The obligation
to the fast BSE tests starting from January 1, 2001 is expanded on all
risk animals at the age of more than 30 months.
November 24, 2000: For the first time
BSE is discovered in a cow born in Germany, Schleswig-Holstein. Later
another case of BSE was diagnosed also with a cow in Portugal, which probably
originated from Saxonia-Anhalt.
November 26, 2000: Germany makes
a general prohibition for the animal flour-based feed. The prohibition
is implemented as a regular law, and not like as express direction as
it was planned first.
December 1, 2000: Along with the Bundestag,
Bundesrat also agrees to the general animal flour prohibition law. The
land chambers require a relevant participation of federation and EU in
the subsequent costs. Federal Health Minister Fischer prescribes obligatory
tests for all slaughtered cattle over 30 months.
December 2, 2000: German animal flour
prohibition comes into force.
December 4, 2000: Following German
and French model of behavior, EU-Secretaries of Agriculture council decided
on a EU-wide half-the-year-term prohibition of animal flour starting from
December 6, 2000: The obligatory BSE
tests start in Germany.
December 14, 2000: EU and German states
create a working group, which has to submit solutions for the discussed
division of costs for the suppressing of the BSE crisis. The solutions
must be ready by the end of January, 2001.
December 17, 2000: The first BSE case
in Bavaria is discovered and confirmed. The virus-carrier occurred to
be a 1995 born cow from Sulzberg in the Oberallgaeu reared on a small
December 20, 2000: The first case,
with which BSE possibly came
with living cattle openly to the outbreak, becomes known. The cow
was born forwards six and a half years in gang book in Upper Bavaria.
21, 2000: The number of the confirmed BSE cases in Germany
rises to five.
December 28, 2000: That first BSE
case in Lower Saxony is reported. The four-year-old cow from a farm in
Nortrup at Bersenbrueck in Osnabrueck was slaughtered on December 20,
December 29, 2000: Saxonia-Anhalt
as the first German state introduces a gene data base for cattle. Federal
Chancellor Schroeder assigns the president of the Federal Audit Office,
Hedda von Wedel, an analysis of the BSE crisis.
January 2, 2001: Food testers search
for falsely defined sausage in supermarkets, which contains beef no matter
what the specification on the label says.
January 4, 2001: Health minister
Fischer wants to expand fast BSE tests on younger slaughtered cattle and
to lower the age limit to 24 months. A mutual document of the state secretaries
of agriculture and of the Environment Department is introduced, requiring
a radical turn to the ecological farming.
January 5, 2001: A special meeting
of the committees for agriculture and health takes place In Berlin. Agriculture
minister Funke presents an eight-point program for the change of the agriculture.
January 8, 2001: Bavarian farmers
no longer want to kill all animals of the herd automatically if there
is one BSE-infected animal there.
January 9, 2001: Health minister
Andrea Fischer and agriculture minister Karl-Heinz Funke resign because
of the BSE crisis. Altogether ten BSE cases in Germany are officially
confirmed: six in Bavaria, two in Lower Saxony and two in Schleswig-Holstein.
January 10, 2001: Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder introduced
the successors of the resigned ministers: Ulla Schmidt -- new health minister,
and Renate Kuenast -- new agriculture minister.
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How Mad Cow Disease Affected German
Cabinet > Page 1, 2,
Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
Health Care in
Mad Cow Disease