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Food safety: Norway must improve the enforcement of the legislation to prevent mad cow disease (BSE)



The EFTA Surveillance Authority (“the Authority”) requires Norway to stop the production of animal feed with fish meal on the same production lines as feed without fish meal. The Authority also rejects the Norwegian application for revision of the monitoring programme for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (“BSE” – mad cow disease).

As part of the process to eradicate inter alia BSE and scrapie, the use of animal proteins in feed for ruminants is prohibited. Since 2005, this feed ban also comprises fish meal. Norway initially opposed the introduction of these rules, however, after receiving a reasoned opinion on this matter from the Authority, Norway implemented the rules in 2010.

However, inspections carried out by the Authority have on several occasions shown that Norway still does not fully comply with the total feed ban, as Norway allows production of ruminant feed in facilities not physically separate from facilities producing feed containing fish meal for non-ruminant species (e.g. swine and poultry), which is contrary to the EEA legislation.

In December 2011, Norway applied for a revision of its BSE monitoring programme. One of the conditions in Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 for granting such revision is that the total feed ban has been implemented and enforced for at least six years. It follows from the above that this is not the case in Norway.

The Authority sought scientific assistance from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on this matter. EFSA also recommends that Norway ensure a physical separation of feed production lines used for production of feed with and without fish meal.

On this basis, the Authority has today rejected the Norwegian application for revision of the BSE monitoring programme. Furthermore, the Authority has delivered a reasoned opinion to Norway concluding that Norway must change its practice with regard to the production of animal feed with and without fish meal on the same production lines.

A reasoned opinion is the second step in the infringement procedure. The Authority may bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Norway fails to take the measures necessary to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months.


For further information, please contact:

Ms. Janne Britt Krakhellen
Deputy Director, Internal Market Affairs Directorate
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 77
mob. (+32)(0)493 51 00 46


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