Keywords: variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, vCJD, The Netherlands, risk management, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE, mad cow disease, blood safety, food safety, variant CJD
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease risk management in the Netherlands
Imports of animal feeds containing contaminated meat and bone meal (MBM) from the UK and other countries in the late 1980s and early 1990s was identified as the major risk factor for an increased risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) entering into the Netherlands. The first BSE case was confirmed in March 1997. Early preventive measures, such as the 1989 domestic ban on ruminant MBM for cattle feed and the 1990 ban on the import of ruminant MBM from the UK along with later European Union-wide measures resulted in a limited scale of the outbreak. In 2007, the European Commission recognised the Netherlands as a country with a controlled BSE risk status. Three cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) were reported and related to contaminated beef consumption. Blood and food safety systems were established to prevent vCJD transmission.