WASHINGTON – The United States’ safeguards against bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) worked and at no time were the US food supply or human health at risk from BSE, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s final report on the investigation into a dairy cow that tested positive for BSE in April.
The infected animal was discovered after it was sampled for BSE at a rendering facility in central California. The cow was never intended for human consumption, USDA said, so at no time was the food supply or human health at risk. The 10-year-old Holstein was humanely euthanized after it developed lameness and became recumbent.
"As a result of on-the-ground investigation and records review, USDA and CDFA identified only one live offspring of the cow, which was humanely euthanized and found to be negative for BSE," USDA said in its report. "No birth cohorts of the index animal were found alive."
The carcass of the infected animal was disposed of in a landfill along with roughly 90 other carcasses being held at the renderer’s transfer station in accordance with state and federal regulations. The infected animal never entered the food supply, USDA added. Following examination of the cow, investigators began to focus on feed suppliers.
"In conjunction with USDA’s investigation, FDA and CDFA conducted an extensive feed investigation," USDA's reported stated. "Twelve feed suppliers were identified to the index premises; one of which was no longer in business. The remaining 11 were found to be in compliance with FDA and CDFA regulations and requirements."