The objectives are to study rendering processes. The expected results and achievements will be a definition of parameters for rendering which will produce a safe product from the point of view of scrapie and BSE. This relates directly to the animal health objectives of the programme "ACTION ON BSE" - BSE was transmitted to cattle from sheep via the rendering process.
Scrapie like agents including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) are known to be relatively resistant to inactivation by heat treatments that are effective for conventional microorganisms. Because of BSE the rendering industry has suffered severe financial loss. Pilot scale rendering processes which will effectively treat infected meat, bone and offal are under study.
BSE material in the form of 861 brains from cattle with clinical signs of BSE was macerated and mixed with bones and offal which was then processed in a pilot scale plant. Scaling down of the rendering process has proved difficult and it has not always proved possible to keep to the protocol. The processes have necessitated the manufacture of custom made equipment of unique design. The processed material was injected into mice of strain R3 which will be kept for their full lifespan of up to 36 months. Mice are undergoing examination for clinical signs of disease. The collection of 3000 brains from United Kingdom (UK) sheep clinically affected with scrapie proved difficult but rendering commenced in Autumn 1992.
The rendering industry in the EC has an annual production of approximately 2.7 million tonnes of meat and bonemeal. Due to BSE the UK and Irish rendering industries have suffered a very substantial drop in sales, of the order of 50%. Abattoirs also suffer because they now have to pay for the disposal of offals etc. Definition of safe methods would eliminate any risk of these problems occuring in mainland Europe and allow the UK and Irish industries to resume sales of a safe product.
RG20 7NN Newbury
DN5 9SW Doncaster