European Commission adopted a Communication to the European Parliament and the Council, which outlines areas where future possible changes to EU TSE-related measures could be made. The document –"The TSE Road Map 2 – A strategy paper on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies for 2010-2015" – underlines that any amendment should maintain the EU's high level of protection of human and animal health and of food safety and should be backed by solid science.
The Road Map identifies six areas where changes to the current TSE measures could be made in the future:
• Specified Risk Materials (SRMs – i.e. organs that could harbour BSE infectivity): The EU SRMs list could be aligned with the international standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
• The feed ban: A certain tolerance level of processed animal proteins (PAP) could be introduced; provisions banning the use of certain PAP for animals such as pigs, poultry and fish (i.e. non-ruminants) could be removed without lifting the prohibition on intra species recycling (e.g. poultry meal could be fed to pigs and pig meal to poultry but not pig meal to pigs).
• Surveillance: The monitoring system could be better targeted by increasing gradually the testing age limits, or through various testing methods.
• Scrapie eradication measures: These could be brought in line with the latest scientific information, which could mean – among other things – adapting measures for atypical scrapie if data confirms that this scrapie strain is not contagious or continuing to encourage genetic control of the disease in sheep through breeding programmes.
• Cohort culling: As the number of BSE-positive animals has dropped to zero in 2009 the systematic cohort culling of cattle could be stopped and animals could be sold for consumption provided they are tested with negative results before entering the food chain.
• Ante-mortem and post-mortem tests: If ante-mortem tests become available the testing of live animals could be an option. This could be particularly helpful for herd certification purposes vis-à-vis small ruminants.