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European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA)

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (BSE, scrapie, chronic wasting disease)

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a group of diseases that affect the brain and nervous system of humans and animals. TSEs are caused by an abnormal form of a protein called prion.

TSEs of animals include: bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, scrapie in sheep and goats, chronic wasting disease in cervids, transmissible mink encephalopathy in mink, feline spongiform encephalopathy in cats. TSEs of humans are: Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD), vCJD, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, Fatal Familial Insomnia and kuru in humans.

In 2021 and 2022, the Commission is awarding overall €14 million and €11 million, respectively, to 26 EU countries to contribute to:

  • Maintaining the number of classical BSE cases in the Union at a very low level (below three cases per year for all EU Member States);
  • Increasing the number of Member States with a negligible BSE risk (at least 26 Member States by the end of 2022);
  • Decreasing the number of index cases of classical scrapie in sheep and goats in EU (15 Member States with no classical scrapie over last 7 years).

Related links

on genotyping of positive TSE cases in goats, the determination of age in ovine and caprine animals, the measures applicable in a herd or flock with atypical scrapie and the conditions for imports of products of bovine, ovine and caprine origin