Spain reports isolated case of mad cow disease

Spain reports isolated case of mad cow disease
Photo: AFP
A farm in Salamanca has detected a rare case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly called mad cow disease.

Spain's Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that a case of BSE had been recorded in the northwestern province of Castilla y Leon, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Friday.

The diseased cow, which belonged to a herd of 134 cattle on a farm  in the village of Horcajo Medianero, near Salamanca, was destroyed after routine controls found that it tested positive for atypical BSE type L. The case was then reported to the OIE as protocol demands.

The Ministry of Agriculture said the case did not pose a threat to public health.

Mad cow disease causes a degeneration of the brain and spinal cord in cattle, which can be transmitted to humans through eating beef.

BSE was first reported in Britain in the mid-1980s when it was linked to a human variant of the fatal brain-wasting disease.

Britain was seriously affected by an epidemic that also affected other countries, including Spain, where 741 cases were detected between 1995 and 2007.

The number of cases of BSE plummeted after bans were introduced on feed that included meat and bone meal from infected cows believed to cause the disease.


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