Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Case of 'Mad cow disease' found on Scottish farm

Case of 'Mad cow disease' found on Scottish farm

The case was identified as a result of strict control measures in place and did not enter the human food chain - with Food Standards Scotland confirming there is no risk to human health as a result of the isolated case.

The disease was discovered in a routine check on the Aberdeenshire farm, in northeastern Scotland.

A spokesman said it was standard procedure for a confirmed case of classical BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy).

Mad cow disease has been found on a farm in Aberdeenshire - the first case in Britain for three years.

The nation was declared "BSE free" in 2009 and was given "negligible risk" status by the World Organisation for Animal Health a year ago.

The government's chief veterinary officer, Sheila Voas, tweeted that she was "sad to have confirmed" the case of BSE, but said a "good surveillance system is proved to work well".

The Scottish Government said the incident did not represent a threat to human health, but livestock on the farm are being quarantined while further investigations take place. The disease also affects the animal's coordination, causing trembling or stumbling, according to The Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University.

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It is the first case of the disease found on a farm in the United Kingdom since 2015, Bloomberg reported.

Eating meat from animals infected with BSE has been tied to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an incurable human illness that destroys brain tissue.

"It is described as "classical BSE", like the vast majority of cases we have seen in the UK".

More than 180,000 cattle were infected in the United Kingdom and 4.4 million slaughtered during an eradication program in the 1990s.

Ian McWatt, Director of Operations in Food Standards Scotland said: "There are strict controls in place to protect consumers from the risk of BSE, including controls on animal feed, and removal of the parts of cattle most likely to carry BSE infectivity". Cows and humans are similarly affected by the disease.

"Be assured that the Scottish Government and its partners stand ready to respond to any further confirmed cases of the disease in Scotland".

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