The European Commission provided a training workshop on EU legislation for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in Boksburg during November 2008.
The workshop was part of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumers' Better Training for Safer Food initiative. Some 60 participants from southern Africa attend - the group was made up largely of national authority control staff dealing with animal health and food safety and also some participants from the private sector.
Representatives of regional organisations, including the African Union and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, also attend. The training was aimed at giving participants a clear and common understanding of EU BSE and meat legislation.
Attendants were subsequently better equipped to monitor and detect the disease and to carry out effective controls on the meat production process. This was essential in o rder to ensure that meat placed on the market does not present public health risks.
Meeting EU standards in these areas should also open access to the European market for African meat products, thus fostering economic development with a positive knock-on effect on poverty alleviation. The training did include plenary presentations and site visits.
The workshop began with a general overview of EU food legislation, followed by presentations covering Food and Veterinary Office inspections and EU legislation applicable to official controls, the process for official recognition of BSE risk status, animal feeding, monitoring programmes, controls in primary production and processing establishments.
Source: South African Meat Industry Company (SAMIC)