The Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) advising the European Commission on BSE related issues published on Monday its opinion on the risk of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in thirteen countries. The Committee concluded that it is highly unlikely that cattle infected with the BSE agent are present in domestic herds of Brazil and Singapore and unlikely but not excluded in the herds of India, Pakistan, Colombia and Mauritius. They added that it is likely BSE is present in the cattle herds of Albania, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and the Slovak Republic although this has yet to be confirmed. The evaluation of the geographical risk of presence of BSE focuses on the risk for animals to incubate the disease. The Committee found that all Eastern, Central and Southern European countries examined have imported significant amounts of live cattle and meat-and-bone-meal from EU countries where the presence of BSE has since been confirmed. The appropriate risk management measures such as a MBM feed-ban for ruminants were in most cases not put in place until recently consequently it is possible that their cattle herds were exposed to potentially BSE contaminated feed and subsequently infected. The SSC also notes that many of these countries have in recent months made significant improvements in their risk management. It will however take time before such improvements will result in an actual reduction of the BSE risk level.