Source: Alan Bjerga / Bloomberg
The first U.S. case of mad cow disease in six years has been found in a dairy cow in central California, John Clifford, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief veterinarian, told reporters today in a briefing in Washington.
The cow was found at a rendering facility as part of routine testing for the disease, known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Clifford said. Its meat didn’t enter the food chain and the carcass will be destroyed, he said.
This is the fourth case of the brain-wasting disease found in the U.S. herd since the first in December 2003, in a cow that was born in Canada. The most recent was in March 2006.
The carcass “was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food supplyor human health,” Clifford said in a statement. “USDA remains confident in the health of the national herd and the safety of beef and dairy products.” Clifford said the age and the exact birthplace of the animal were being investigated.
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