The BSE Risk of Processing Meat and Bone Meal in Nonruminant Feed: A Quantitative Assessment for the Netherlands

C.J. de Vos, L. Heres

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    9 Citations (Scopus)


    The total ban on use of meat and bone meal (MBM) in livestock feed has been very successful in reducing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) spread, but also implies a waste of high-quality proteins resulting in economic and ecological loss. Now that the BSE epidemic is fading out, a partial lifting of the MBM ban might be considered. The objective of this study was to assess the BSE risk for the Netherlands if MBM derived from animals fit for human consumption, i.e., category 3 MBM, would be used in nonruminant feed. A stochastic simulation model was constructed that calculates (1) the probability that infectivity of undetected BSE-infected cows ends up with calves and (2) the quantity of infectivity (Qinf) consumed by calves in case of such an incident. Three pathways were considered via which infectivity can reach cattle: (1) cross-contamination in the feed mill, (2) cross-contamination on the primary farm, and (3) pasture contamination. Model calculations indicate that the overall probability that infectivity ends up with calves is 3.2%. In most such incidents the Qinf is extremely small (median = 6.5 × 10¿12 ID50; mean = 1.8 × 10¿4 ID50), corresponding to an average probability of 1.3 × 10¿4 that an incident results in ¿1 new BSE infections. Cross-contamination in the feed mill is the most risky pathway. Combining model results with Dutch BSE prevalence estimates for the coming years, it can be concluded that the BSE risk of using category 3 MBM derived from Dutch cattle in nonruminant feed is very low
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)541-557
    JournalRisk Analysis
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • bovine spongiform encephalopathy
    • great-britain
    • transmission dynamics
    • cattle
    • infection
    • exposure
    • agents
    • epidemiology
    • impact
    • inactivation


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