Keywords: bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, vCJD, risk management, Middle East, Israel, mad cow disease, risk assessment, risk communication, food safety, variant CJD
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy and its management in Israel
Following the outbreak of BSE in the UK in the mid-1980s, Israel banned the importation of live cattle and meat and bone meal from the UK. The appearance of its first and only domestic case in 2002 prompted the implementation of several additional protective measures, including improvements to the active surveillance system and the removal of high risk materials. A geographic bovine spongiform encephalopathy risk assessment conducted the same year concluded that it was likely and confirmed at a lower level that domestic cattle were infected with BSE (Level III). However, no other cases have been detected in the country. The government has followed a sound risk management and risk communication plan to avoid negative reactions from the public.