BSE deaths herald crisis in Germany

Germany has ordered the slaughter of all cows imported from Britain and Switzerland, and has imposed tighter restrictions on their offspring, after a crisis meeting of ministers.

Following the death last week of the fifth German-born cow to fall victim to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), passed on from its British- born mother, 5,200 animals are to be destroyed. Another 7,000 calves born in Germany were reprieved, although they will not be allowed to be slaughtered for meat. Imre Karacs - Bonn