24th August 2022

Animal & Plant Health Agency - Silo Survey

On behalf of Defra, Scottish Government and the Welsh Government, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is asking all cattle farmers to participate in a short survey following the recent case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) detected in England in 2021.  This case was potentially linked to residual contaminated feed from a silo that had been in use since the early 1980s and was the most likely source of infection.  This survey therefore hopes to establish whether cattle keepers still use a silo, or any other container storing loose concentrated feedstuffs, that predates 1 August 1996 when the reinforced ban on feeding of processed animal protein to farmed animals was introduced.

The aim of the survey is to gather supportive information to help Great Britain (GB)’s attempt to obtain negligible BSE risk status, as recognised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH; formally known as OIE). This will help facilitate trade and access new markets for export of British beef and feed products. Great Britain currently has controlled BSE risk status. To apply for negligible BSE risk status, a country must demonstrate effective BSE surveillance and adequate mitigation measures, to prevent the occurrence of further cases of BSE.

Survey links: The survey can be accessed at: https://defragroup.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2hQOOblL7bZjD5Y

All cattle farmers are kindly asked to complete the survey as it is important to achieve a good response rate that represents the whole cattle farm population and see progress already made over the years.

The results of the survey will be analysed by APHA and summarised into an anonymous report for the WOAH. 

Further information:

Any questions about the survey can be directed to the silo.survey@apha.gov.uk mailbox.  

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