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05 April, 2001
Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis on Wednesday categorically denied the detection of a second case of spongiform encephalopathy in an animal from the prefecture of Ilia in southern Greece.
In the area of the town of Zaharo a number of animals having tuberculosis were detected in a stockbreeding unit. The sick animals were slaughtered and a check showed that there was no case of the mad cow disease.
Referring to the cow in Kilkis, northern Greece, found to have spongiform encephalopathy, Anomeritis said investigations are continuing to ascertain the origin of the animal.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Fotis Hatzimichalis warned that citizens should protect themselves by themselves, adding that no one should buy meat without checking seals and labels first.
146 bovines at Kilkis stockbreeding unit free of spongiform encephalopathy:
A total of 146 bovines at a stockbreeding unit in Kilkis, northern Greece, were found to be free of spongiform encephalopathy, according to results of a rapid test conducted on the unit's animals before they were cremated and publicized on Wednesday.
However, investigations to detect the origin of a diseased animal are continuing.
According to an announcement by the agriculture ministry, a relevant laboratory examined 94 animals from the farm in Kilkis which were cremated.
The animals were over 24 months of age and not 30 months, as necessitated by the EU. The order for a decrease in the animals' age was given by Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Anomeritis reiterated that there is no danger for consumers and reassured that there is no question of the meat of a diseased animal being provided for consumption.
Commenting on the number of checks, Anomeritis pointed out that checks conducted in Greece cannot be compared to checks in France or Italy. He said that animals to be examined there are tens of millions, while in Greece there are about 600,000 bovines and only 30,000 of them belong to the checking (high risk) category.
Source: Athens News Agency