Mad cow disease hits Scotland

A cow suffering from mad cow disease
A cow suffering from mad cow disease

Scottish government on Thursday confirmed at least one case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), more commonly known as the mad cow disease, in an Aberdeen farm.

A prevention response plan and necessary restrictions have been immediately put in place, an official statement said.

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In the statement, Scottish Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Following confirmation of a case of classical BSE in Aberdeenshire, I have activated the Scottish Government’s response plan to protect our valuable farming industry, including establishing a precautionary movement ban being placed on the farm.”

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Ewing underlined that this is a standard procedure and the government stands ready to respond to any further confirmed cases of the disease in Scotland.

The Animal Health Agency (APHA) is investigating the source of the outbreak, the statement added.

The case was identified as a result of “strict control measures we have in place”, and “it did not enter the human food chain”.

“Food Standards Scotland have confirmed there is no risk to human health as a result of this isolated case,” it said.

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Around 4.5 million cattle were destroyed following a BSE outbreak across the U.K. in 1996. At least 10 people were diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) — a mutated form of the BSE.

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Twenty-one victims in Britain were confirmed in the U.K., according to the Centre for Food Safety figures.

In a later outbreak in 2004, 143 people in Britain were infected with CJD, while 180,000 cattle were diagnosed with BSE.

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British beef imports came to a halt due to the disease during the outbreaks, costing the food industry millions of dollars.

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