Mad Cow Disease Case Detected in the US

Posted 16 days ago


An atypical case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also commonly known as mad cow disease, has been detected in South Carolina, the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Friday.

The disease was found in an approximately 5-year-old or older beef cow at a slaughter plant in the Palmetto State.

“This animal never entered slaughter channels and at no time presented a risk to the food supply or to human health in the United States. Given the United States’ negligible risk status for BSE, we do not expect any trade impacts as a result of this finding,” the federal agency said in a statement.

The cow was from Tennessee and tested positive for atypical BSE, Clemson University stated.

“The animal showed symptoms of the disease upon arrival at the plant and was euthanized. Samples were sent to a National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) lab for testing and returned suspect for BSE. The samples were then sent to USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) where they were confirmed positive for atypical L-type BSE,” the statement reads.

Michael Neault, director of Clemson Unversity Livestock Poultry Health and South Carolina state veterinarian, said that this is an “isolated case.”

He praised the system in place to prevent BSE from endangering human and animal health as being “robust” and “successful.”

This was the seventh detection of BSE in the United States since 2003, and all but one have been atypical.

The first case was reported in December 2003 when a presumptive diagnosis of BSE was announced in an adult Holstein cow from Washington state. The diagnosis was later confirmed by an international reference laboratory in Weybridge, England.

According to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), humans could get a version of BSE called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) if they eat food from cows sick with BSE.... (Read more)