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Cost-effective strategies for BSE and scrapie surveillance in Great Britain and policy implications - SE0261

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a group of diseases of the nervous system of animals and humans. TSEs are also known as prion diseases. Examples of TSEs include scrapie in sheep and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle. The occurrence of TSEs has fallen consistently in Great Britain in recent years as a result of a number of measures aimed at their eradication. However, despite the reduction in their incidence, it is still important to maintain surveillance activities in order to assess the effectiveness of control strategies and to be able detect an increasing trend in the event of reemergence.

Currently, in order to determine the trend of BSE and scrapie prevalence over time in EU member states, samples are taken and tested from animals sent to slaughter or dead on farms. Given the reduction in the occurrence of these diseases, it may be appropriate to modify current surveillance systems which were established when the prevalence of the infections was considerably higher. Any modification to existing surveillance for TSEs should consider both, the impact of the changes on the effectiveness of surveillance and the costs of the revised system. The aim of this project is to evaluate the costs and the technical effectiveness (e.g. ability to detect an increasing trend) of existing surveillance systems for BSE and scrapie as well as potential alternative systems or changes to the existing ones. The results of the project will inform decisions with regard to surveillance and control policies for these diseases.
1. To develop simulation models to represent BSE and scrapie surveillance in Great Britain.
2. To estimate the cost-effectiveness of existing and alternative surveillance strategies for the detection
of BSE positive cattle and scrapie positive sheep in Great Britain.
3. To propose TSE’s surveillance and control policy options that take into acount the estimated cost effectiveness
and EU regulatory frameworks.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : SE0261 project final report   (480k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2012

To: 2014

Cost: £199,602
Contractor / Funded Organisations
The Royal Veterinary College
Fields of Study
Animal Health