More research needed on breeding goats

by Editor
Thursday, November 12, 2009

EFSA experts on the Scientific Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) said in an opinion that further research is needed on breeding programmes in goats for genetic resistance to Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) (including Classical scrapie, Atypical scrapie and BSE).

The Panel concluded that there are encouraging but as yet incomplete data available to consider supporting a breeding programme for resistance in goats against Classical scrapie in all EU Member States. Ongoing studies are expected to provide a more robust scientific background in the coming years. The Panel also concluded that at present there are not enough data available to consider supporting breeding programmes for resistance against Atypical scrapie and BSE in goats.

The Panel highlighted the need for a sound logistical and technical infrastructure in order to support a breeding programme for resistance to TSEs in goats in any given territory, as such an infrastructure at present seems to be lacking in most Member States. The Panel also made a series of recommendations on research that could further support the success of such a breeding programme.

This scientific opinion is the second and final part of a response to a request from the European Commission for advice on the possibility of breeding goats in the EU for genetic resistance to TSEs.