The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday, local time, said in a release that an 11-year-old cow in Alabama tested positive for BSE when the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service was conducting routine surveillance at an Alabama livestock market. The cow wasn't slaughtered and its meat didn't enter the food chain. Atypical BSE cases do not impact official BSE risk status recognition, as this form of the disease is believed to occur spontaneously in all cattle populations at a very low rate. The classical form is the unsafe strain, since humans eating infected cows have been known to develop Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a fatal brain disorder.
In the USA regulations 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. According to USDA-APHIS, "Classical BSE is the form that occurred primarily in the United Kingdom, beginning in the late 1980's, and it has been linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in people". The state is calling the discovery a "rare and spontaneous" case of the disease, which can occur in older animals.
As I was finishing this early afternoon yesterday, the Live Cattle futures were up and initial media reports indicated that while South Korea will ramp up inspections of US beef, other major export markets for USA beef didn't anticipate any adverse reaction to the announcement. The OIE, the worldwide organization for animal health, recognizes the U.S.as a country at negligible risk for BSE.
The most common cause of classical BSE is when cows are fed products that contain brain or spinal tissue from other bovine animals. "Experts have reported that atypical BSE cases do not represent a risk to public health, and given the differences between Classical and atypical cases, the two should be categorized separately". In 2009, the USDA implemented the enhanced surveillance testing programs to protect animal and human health.
US National Cattlemens Beef Association's Jimmy Holliman issued a brief statement following the detection.
This is fifth incident of BSE to be found in the US.
According to USDA, the World Organization for Animal Health has recognized the United States as having "negligible risk for BSE".
The USDA also said that the Alabama's Department of Agriculture has a robust surveillance program, and this isolated incidence should not be cause for alarm. "The response to this case by USDA officials and our department's professionals led by State Veterinarian Dr".
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