Transmissible Spongiform Encephelopathy Freedom Assurance Project (TSEFAP)

TSEs (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies), or prion diseases, are a group of rare brain diseases that are progressive and lead to neurological signs and death. Prion diseases have been described in humans, cattle, sheep, goats, deer and other mammals and there is no vaccination or treatment for them.

Australia is currently free from TSEs, including BSE in cattle (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or 'Mad cow disease') and scrapie in sheep and goats.

The preventative and surveillance strategies included in the NTSEFAP help to prove that Australia is TSE free and as a result boost our export opportunities.

The National TSE Freedom Assurance Program (NTSEFAP) has been developed to:

  • prevent TSE entry into Australia;
  • increase our levels of surveillance for TSEs;
  • minimise and subsequently eliminate the spread among animals, should a TSE occur in Australia, and
  • increase stakeholder awareness and understanding of TSEs and the importance of surveillance measures.

The department is involved in three operational project areas to achieve these above objectives:

  • National TSE Surveillance Project
  • Ruminant feeding restrictions
  • Imported animal surveillance