April 24, 2012

2 Min Read
USDA Confirms Mad Cow Disease Found in CA Dairy Cow

WASHINGTONThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today confirmed the presence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)also known as mad cow diseasein a dairy cow from central California. The agency cautioned against public panic and reiterated no parts of the of the animal entered the nation's food supply.

According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. cattle futures plummeted to a 10-month low after USDA confirmed the case of mad cow disease. June contracts fell to the lowest point since the contract began trading.

USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford said USDA has begun notifying authorities at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), as well as U.S. trading partners; however, the agency does not expect the detection of mad cow to affect U.S. beef exports.

Clifford said samples from the animal in question were tested at USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. Confirmatory results using immunohistochemistry and western blot tests confirmed the animal was positive for atypical BSE, a very rare form of the disease not generally associated with an animal consuming infected feed.

The carcass of the animal is being held under state authority at a rendering facility in California and will be destroyed. It was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health. Additionally, milk does not transmit BSE," he said.

BSE is a progressive neurological disease among cattle that is always fatal. It belongs to a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Affected animals may display nervousness or aggression, abnormal posture, difficulty in coordination and rising, decreased milk production, or loss of body weight despite continued appetite.

In 2011, there were only 29 worldwide cases of BSE, a dramatic decline and 99% reduction since the peak in 1992 of 37,311 cases.

"USDA remains confident in the health of the national herd and the safety of beef and dairy products. As the epidemiological investigation progresses, USDA will continue to communicate findings in a timely and transparent manner," Clifford said.

Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the health and nutrition industry.
Join 37,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like