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Mad cow disease case in United Kingdom

Credit: Creative commons

A case of mad cow disease (BSE) has been discovered on a farm in Somerset in the southwest of England, according to British health authorities.

Britain’s Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) says there is no public health risk and that the animal is dead and has been removed from the farm.

Nevertheless, several precautionary measures have been taken, including restricting the transport of livestock in the region.

These measures will remain in place until an investigation has determined the cause of the BSE case.

“This is a standard procedure, which also proves that our surveillance system works,” said Chief Veterinarian Christine Middlemiss.

There have been five cases of BSE discovered in the UK since 2014.

Each case involved dead animals that never entered the food chain and therefore posed no health risk to the general public.

The World Organisation for Animal Health must be notified of any contamination, and trading partners are also informed, but exports of beef from the United Kingdom were not affected.

At the end of the 1990s, there was a serious mad cow disease crisis in the UK, during which millions of cattle had to be slaughtered.

BSE is at the root of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.

Between 1995 and 2016, 178 people died from it in the UK.

The Brussels Times

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