PARIS – Brazil's risk status for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) remains "negligible", according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Additionally, the commission said the single BSE case did not put Brazil's or the country’s trading partners' animal and public health at risk.

The OIE Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases announced its conclusions following its recent biannual meeting. Brazil's first recorded case of BSE was one of the topics the commission discussed. A delegation from Brazil briefed the commission on the events leading up to the notification of the case to OIE.

"The Commission however, noted with concern that there had been a considerable delay before Brazil sent the clinical samples for a confirmatory diagnosis to an OIE Reference Laboratory," OIE said. "The Commission therefore agreed that it needed more detailed information on the procedures in place for processing samples and the improvement of the surveillance system in the country so as to further monitor the continuous compliance by Brazil with the relevant provisions of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code to be respected for the sustainable maintenance of its official status for BSE."

The cow in question did not die of BSE. OIE tested tissue from the Brazilian cow and confirmed the presence of prions, the protein linked to BSE. OIE concluded that the animal had atypical BSE; animals with this condition may or may not develop BSE. Several countries moved to ban imports of Brazilian beef following the discovery.