October 28, 2021

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‘Mad cow’ disease diagnosed in UK

A classic case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as “mad cow” disease, has been diagnosed on a farm in the southwest UK, health officials said on Friday evening.

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According to the British Institute for Animal and Plant Health (APHA), the animal died and was removed from a farm in Somerset, emphasizing that “there is no danger to food health.”

As a precaution, “operational restrictions have been imposed to prevent the movement of livestock in the area, while investigations are ongoing to identify the origin of the disease,” the company said in a statement.

According to its chief veterinarian Christine Middlemis, this is a “sustainable process” that demonstrates that “our monitoring system works to diagnose and control the disease.”

“The general risk of BSE in the UK is classified + controlled + and there is no risk to food safety or public health,” he added.

According to the ABHA, there have been five confirmed cases of BSE in the UK since 2014, all of which are not imposed on the human food chain and pose no risk to dead people.

As predicted by international commitments, the World Organization for Animal Health and the UK’s trading partners were briefed, but the country’s ability to export beef was not affected.

Cases of the disease have appeared from time to time in the UK since the severe crisis of the late 1990s, which has killed millions of animals.

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BSE first appeared in the UK in the 1980s and spread to many countries in Europe and around the world through the use of contaminated animal feed. It is suspected to be the source of a new type of Croatsfeld-Jacob disease (CJD) in humans, which has caused concern among consumers and led to a decline in meat purchases.

The exact extent of the infection in humans is unknown. While the BSE was under epidemic control, the number of cases of the new variant CJD has dropped since 2000. From 1995 to 2016, 178 people died, all diagnosed in the UK, while 27 died in France between 1996 and 2014.