AN EXPERT scientific panel has been set up to assess the disease risks posed by beef imports from the US and Canada.The move was announced today by Biosecurity Australia, which is conducting import risk analyses on beef from "mad cow'' countries who want to export to Australia.
It comes after the federal government recently relaxed the blanket ban on beef imports from countries with a history of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in their herds.
The panel, to be led by BA's principal scientist for animal biosecurity Dr Mike Nunn, will also have three other experts in the field as members.
These are associate professor of diagnostic pathology at Charles Sturt University's school of animal and veterinary sciences, Dr John Glastonbury, the Australian Veterinary Association's national veterinary director Dr Kevin Doyle, and Queensland's chief veterinary officer Dr Ron Glanville.
BA will now develop a draft IRA report with the help of the panel for circulation to interested parties with a 60-day public comment period.
The independent Eminent Scientists Group will then provide external scientific scrutiny of the draft report after consideration of any public comments.
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