BSE: Commissioner Byrne updated ministers on the general situation in the EU. Since the last Council in November, both Finland and Austria have confirmed their first case of BSE. "Clearly, this is a disappointment but it is not entirely a surprise" M. Byrne said. The situation in other Member States remains calm with no major developments. This is reflected in the figures for beef consumption, which are increasingly moving in the right direction as consumers regain their confidence in the protective measures in place. The very extensive list of measures put in place in the course of the year have also served to reassure consumers that no risks are taken with their health.