BSE case on farm

Mad cow dis­ease con­firmed

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - NEWS -

A CASE of BSE – com­monly dubbed “mad cow dis­ease” – has been found on a Scot­tish farm, though the iso­lated case posed no risk to hu­man health, the de­volved gov­ern­ment in Ed­in­burgh said.

Bovine spongi­form en­cephalopa­thy was found on a farm in Aberdeen­shire in north­east Scot­land.

“Pre­cau­tion­ary move­ment re­stric­tions have been put in place at the farm, while fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions to iden­tify the ori­gin of the dis­ease oc­cur,” the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment said in a state­ment. “This is stan­dard pro­ce­dure for a con­firmed case of clas­si­cal BSE, which does not rep­re­sent a threat to hu­man health.”

The an­i­mal did not en­ter the hu­man food chain and the Food Stan­dards Scot­land au­thor­ity con­firmed there was “no risk to hu­man health” re­sult­ing from the iso­lated case, the state­ment said.

Scot­land’s chief vet­eri­nary of­fi­cer Sheila Voas said: “While it is too early to tell where the dis­ease came from in this case, its de­tec­tion is proof that our sur­veil­lance sys­tem is do­ing its job.”

The ap­pear­ance of the first cases of “mad cow dis­ease” in 1986 in Bri­tain caused a pub­lic health scare that lasted sev­eral years. In 1996, it be­came clear the dis­ease could be trans­mit­ted to hu­mans in the form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob dis­ease.

The Euro­pean Union or­dered a worldwide em­bargo on Bri­tish beef and its de­riv­a­tives that was lifted in Europe in 1999. China only lifted its em­bargo on im­port­ing Bri­tish beef in June this year.

Pro­fes­sor Matthew Baylis, chair of vet­eri­nary epi­demi­ol­ogy at Liver­pool Univer­sity, said one case was de­tected in Bri­tain in 2014 and two in 2015.

“It is too early to say if this case is sig­nif­i­cant,” he said, adding that it was likely to be an atyp­i­cal spo­radic case rather than one ac­quired like an in­fec­tion. “With ef­fec­tive sur­veil­lance, coun­tries with­out con­ven­tional BSE can de­tect odd cases of atyp­i­cal BSE, and atyp­i­cal cases in the UK must be ex­pected.”

PHOTO: FILE

MAD COW DIS­EASE: An iso­lated case of BSE was found on a farm in Scot­land re­cently.

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