GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 17th July  2003
Bio-security warning over disposal of GE Sheep

The culling of the PPL sheep must be done with the utmost care as there is insufficient knowledge about the risks from disposal of the cremated remains, and the persistence of DNA and prion diseases.

A report on BSE (Dominion Oct 30th 2000) found that incineration failed to destroy the protein that carried the disease.

"The destruction of these sick sheep must be very carefully assessed, it would be scientifically correct to have each sheep histologically examined to make sure that none carry a variant form of the protein prion". Said Claire Bleakley, President of GE Free (NZ). "This would ensure that any incinerated ash, that may leach into the ground water and rivers, will not become a contaminated toxic problem for the community now or for future generations".

Records show that many of the sheep are suffering from immune diseases like Johnes disease. Previously three rams had been found with spongiform changes, but two were not properly examined for changes. Related to scrapie , the sheep-version of the prion disease BSE, and the human equivalent vCJD.

GE Free (NZ) in food and environment calls for urgent review on the disposal of cremated ash in secure contained structures, to ensure New Zealand's bio-security .

Claire Bleakley (06) 3089842

Back to Press Release Directory