The U.S. Agriculture Department has confirmed that a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as Mad Cow disease, was discovered in a dairy cow from central Califronia. The carcass of the animal is being held under State authority at a rendering facility in California and will be destroyed. The USDA claims that the cow "at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health" because it was never presented for slaughter for human consumption. The USDA also says milk does not transmit BSE.
Samples from the cow 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, which the USDA says is "a very rare form of the disease not generally associated with an animal consuming infected feed."
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is linked to Creutzfeldt-Jakob, a degenerative neurological disorder that is incurable and fatal.
Here is USDA Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. John Clifford announcing the fourth confirmed U.S. case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Take a look:
Photo: Dr. Art Davis/U.S. Dept. of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, APHIS