cattle herd, while our interlocking safeguards, including the removal of specified risk materials
and the feed ban, protect animal and human health."
The step was taken only a month after Japan lifted its two-year-old ban on the condition that imports would be limited to meat from cattle aged up to 20 months with brain, spinal cords and other specified risk materials
removed before shipment.
They examined the country's BSE surveillance systems, the controls on specified risk materials
and animal feeds, and the system of cattle identification and registration.
Only boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months old without specified risk materials
are allowed into Hong Kong.
Yoshinoya D&C Co., the biggest gyudon restaurant chain, maintains that the safety of beef can be secured if brains and other specified risk materials
are removed from cows.
At present, all current safeguards designed to prevent the spread of the disease are based on the premise that the dangerous substances can only be found in certain types of tissue known as Specified Risk Materials
(SRMs) which are removed from all ruminant animals to keep them out of the food and feed chains.
Under the framework agreement, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will establish a special beef export verification (BEV) program to assure that: 1) beef intended for the Japanese market comes from cattle that are less than 21 months of age at slaughter; 2) all specified risk materials
(SRMs) are removed from animals of all ages; and 3) slaughterhouses be able to trace the production histories of cattle intended for the Japanese market to they can determine the age of each animal at slaughter.
The Committee ruled in favour of the UK and Germany by saying that the use of the Over Thirty Months Scheme (OTMS), the feed ban and the removal of specified risk materials
(SRMs) were equivalent to cohort culling.Also under consideration by the SSC was the extent to which penetrative stunning methods used in abattoirs could present a health risk due to the possibility they could displace brain material into the bloodstream.
* Specified Risk Materials
(SRMs) known to harbor the highest concentrations of the infectious agent for BSE, such as the brain, skull, eyes, and spinal cord of cattle 30 months or older, and a portion of the small intestine and tonsils from all cattle, regardless of their age or health; and