'Atypical' Form of Mad Cow Disease Confirmed in Alabama Cow

Atypical BSE found in Alabama cow

An 11-year-old cow in Alabama tested positive for the "atypical" case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday. The animal died at the market before entering the slaughter channels and samples were sent to a USDA lab in Iowa for confirmation.

A rare and spontaneous disease was discovered in an Alabama beef cow just prior to slaughter at a livestock market, according to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. "The response to this case by USDA officials and our department's professionals led by State Veterinarian Dr".

There are two types of BSE - classical and atypical - neither of which is contagious. "Classical BSE" is the form contracted by animals eating contaminated feed, according to a report by Harvest Public Media.

Regulations from the US Food and Drug Administration have prohibited the inclusion of mammalian protein in feed for cattle and other ruminants since 1997 and have also prohibited high risk tissue materials in all animal feed since 2009.

What's more, just like the previous atypical cases that were detected in Alabama, Texas and California, it doesn't affect our global trading status. It seems to arise rarely and spontaneously in all cattle populations.

Of the five confirmed occurrences of BSE in cattle in the United States, this is the second in Alabama. Of the four previous USA cases, the first was a case of classical BSE imported from Canada; the rest have been atypical (H- or L-type) BSE. The OIE, the worldwide organization for animal health, recognizes the U.S.as a country at negligible risk for BSE. Because unlike classic BSE, which was the case with the Cow that Stole Christmas back in 2003, atypical BSE is believed to occur spontaneously.

"It must be reiterated that atypical BSE, as determined by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), does not affect the United States' current status as "negligible risk for BSE".

The USDA-required observations and other preventative measures - which led to the detection of this animal before it entered the slaughterhouse - will continue as normal, Brooks said.

Japan has previously taken measures to prevent the entry of BSE from the US and as this case is atypical, there's no need to take additional action, Yosuke Yamaki, deputy director at the agriculture ministry's animal health division, said by phone. "Today's case will not affect the US trade status or relations, nor will it affect public health".



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