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Mad Cow Disease Confirmed in Alabama

by | Jul 18, 2017 | Alabama News, Business

This Alabama cow is only the fifth detection ever of BSE in the United States, four of which were atypical.

An 11-year-old cow here in Alabama has tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Today, the Commissioner of Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI), John McMillan, confirmed that the department is working with USDA officials to address a positive test for atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in an eleven-year old Alabama beef cow.

McMillian was a recent visitor Cullman as the keynote speaker of the Cullman County Republican Party.

A key point of this investigation leads to this being an ATYPICAL BSE case. This conclusion means agriculture experts believe this is a rare and spontaneous incident.

The animal in question was discovered during routine surveillance at an as yet unnamed Alabama livestock market. According to ADAI, the animal never entered slaughter channels. At no time did it present a risk to the food supply, or to human health.

Following delivery to the livestock market, the cow later died at that location

This Alabama cow is only the fifth detection ever of BSE in the United States, four of which were atypical.

Mad cow disease was first detected in Britain in the 1980’s. Classic mad cow ravaged cattle herds in various parts of Europe. This episode lasted for years until the early 2000’s. Ultimately BSE was linked to the brain-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.

Routine tissue samples were taken from the Alabama cow and sent to diagnostic laboratories in Colorado and Iowa for testing and confirmation. The results confirmed for atypical BSE at the USDA laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

Commissioner McMillan said today:“The Alabama beef industry is vital to our state’s agriculture economy. The response to this case by USDA officials and our department’s professionals led by State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier has been exemplary. This instance proves to us that our ongoing surveillance program is working effectively.”

State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier added, “The ADAI conducts routine surveillance that includes collecting samples by trained field staff and veterinarians and has a response plan in place.”

For more information and questions about BSE visit: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/stakeholder-info/sa_by_date/sa-2017/sa-07/bse-alabama

Or contact ADAI by email at , or by phone at 334-240-7274.

image by Rob Best
Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries
Mad Cow Disease Confirmed in Alabama

Staff Writers

The staff writers at Cullman Today are a collaborative group of citizen reporters sharing the writing of stories based upon their personal interests and work schedules.

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