Beef Cattle

BSE surveillance in Florida consists of 1) Investigation of cattle exhibiting neurological signs, followed by histopath exam on brain and brainstem, and 2) Histopath exam of brainstem from downer cattle.

In 2000, 97 brainstems from downer cattle were examined histologically, and in 2001, 189 were examined, The doubling of sample collections in 2001 was in anticipation of the Harvard Risk Assessment. The goals for 2000 and 2001 for Florida were 75 and 150 respectively. The goal for the current year is 300, of which over 150 have already been collected.

There has been extensive education of private veterinarians have assisted with the food animal group of the FVWA. Private veterinarians have assisted our efforts in BSE surveillance, particularly in the dairies.

* * * * I believe we are best to refer to the collection numbers in percentage and not actual numbers if possible. It is sometimes difficult to explain why the numbers are so low in relation to the numbers of cattle.

Therefore in 2000 sampling was 130% of the necessary numbers. In 2001 sampling was 250% of the necessary numbers, in 2002 sampling to date is already 200% of necessary numbers, we expect to collect greater than 400% of the necessary numbers.