New case of mad cow disease in California

henry

Guest
#1
WASHINGTON?The first new case of mad cow disease in the U.S. since 2006 has been discovered in a dairy cow in California, but health authorities said Tuesday the animal never was a threat to the nation's food supply.

The infected cow, the fourth ever discovered in the U.S., was found as part of an Agriculture Department surveillance program that tests about 40,000 cows a year for the fatal brain disease.

No meat from the cow was bound for the food supply, said John Clifford, the department's chief veterinary officer.

"There is really no cause for alarm here with regard to this animal," Clifford told reporters at a hastily convened news conference.

Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), is fatal to cows and can cause a fatal human brain disease in people who eat tainted beef. The World Health Organization has said that tests show that humans cannot be infected by drinking milk from BSE-infected animals.

In the wake of a massive outbreak in Britain that peaked in 1993, the U.S. intensified precautions to keep BSE out of U.S. cattle and the food supply. In other countries, the infection's spread was blamed on farmers adding recycled meat and bone meal from infected cows into cattle feed, so a key U.S. step has been to ban feed containing such material.

Clifford said the California cow is what scientists call an atypical case of BSE, meaning that it didn't get the disease from eating infected cattle feed, which is important.

That means it's "just a random mutation that can happen every once in a great while in an animal," said Bruce Akey, director of the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University. "Random mutations go on in nature all the time."

The atypical form of BSE that is caused by protein mutation also occurs in humans. Called classic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, it is found at a rate of one case per 1 million people worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"It's not unreasonable to think that something similar could occur in cattle," said Terry Lehenbauer, director of the School of Veterinary Medicine Research Centers at the University of California, Davis. "We just don't know all the science about how this disease develops and is transmitted."

Questions remain about whether the incident will prompt the USDA to change how it tests for the disease. But Mike Doyle, director of the University of Georgia's Center for Food Safety, said the testing system worked because it caught what is a really rare event.

More at http://www.ydr.com/business/ci_20469269/govt-new-case-mad-cow-disease-california
 

aginfo

Junior Member
Messages
692
#2
Mad cow disease found in California; no human threat seen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities reported the country's first case of mad cow disease in six years on Tuesday, swiftly assuring consumers and global importers that there was no danger of meat from the California dairy cow entering the food chain.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack gave assurances that the finding posed "no risk to the food supply or to human health", a line that seems to have been accepted by major foreign buyers.

Fears of a potential backlash among consumers and big importers of U.S. beef fueled a sell-off in Chicago live cattle futures on Tuesday, with memories still sharp of the first case in 2003 that caused a $3 billion drop in exports. It took until 2011 before those exports fully recovered.

Mexico, Korea and Japan, three of the top markets for overseas U.S. beef sales, will continue imports, although two major South Korean retailers halted sales of U.S. beef.

Experts said the case was "atypical" - meaning it was a rare occurrence in which a cow contracts the disease spontaneously, rather than through the feed supply.

The risk of transmission generally comes when the brain or spinal tissue of an animal with BSE, or mad cow disease, is consumed by humans or another animal, which did not occur in this case.

First discovered in Britain in 1986, the disease has killed more than 150 people and 184,000 cows globally, mainly in Britain and Europe, but strict controls have tempered its spread. The first U.S. case was found in late 2003 in an animal imported from Canada, followed by two more in 2005 and 2006. Two of those cases were also "atypical".

"I would say this is an extremely isolated, atypical event," said Dr. Bruce Akey, professor of veterinary medicine and director of the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University, which tests for Mad Cow and Chronic Wasting diseases for New York state and several Northeastern states.

More at http://news.yahoo.com/mad-cow-disease-found-california-no-human-threat-002531323.html
 

frank

Guest
#3
California Holstein with mad cow disease euthanized

The Associated Press

Date: Friday Apr. 27, 2012 6:48 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO ? The California dairy cow found to have mad cow disease had been euthanized after it became lame and started lying down, federal officials revealed in their latest update on the discovery.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also said Thursday that the animal was 10 years and seven months old.

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes of California had said Wednesday that the sick cow was 5 years old. It came from a dairy farm in Tulare County, the nation's No. 1 dairy-producing county.

The USDA didn't elaborate on the cow's symptoms other than to say it was "humanely euthanized after it developed lameness and became recumbent." Outward signs of the disease can include unsteadiness and incoordination.

Routine testing at a transfer facility showed the dead Holstein, which was destined for a rendering plant, had mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The results were announced Tuesday. It was the fourth case of mad cow disease ever discovered in the U.S.

Animals at greater risk for the disease include those with symptoms of neurological disease, "downer" animals at slaughterhouses, animals that die at dairies or cattle ranches for unknown reasons, and cows more than 2 1/2 years old, because BSE occurs in older cows.

Read more: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Health/20120427/mad-cow-california-20120427/#ixzz1tFpSq5Rt
 
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