Wales: BSE discovered in dead cow

by Erica Shaffer
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WALES – Agriculture officials confirmed a case of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a dead cow at a farm in Wales. The animal did not enter the food chain, and the Food Standards Agency and Public Health Wales emphasized there is no threat to human health.

Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, said in a statement that officials are working closely with the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency to investigate the case.

“All animals over four years of age that die on a farm are routinely tested for the disease under our comprehensive surveillance system,” Evans said in the statement. “Whilst the disease is not directly transmitted from animal to animal, its cohorts, including offspring, have been traced and isolated, and will be destroyed in line with EU requirements.

“In addition to the measures we have in place for fallen stock and animal feed, there is a strict control regime to protect consumers,” she added. “This includes the removal of ‘specified risk material’ such as the spinal column, brain and skull from carcasses.”

The last case of BSE recorded in Wales was in 2013.
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