Create a free Feed Strategy account to continue reading

BSE case confirmed on farm in Scotland

A case of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, has been confirmed on a farm in Ayrshire, Scotland, the government announced on May 10.

Angus Beef Cattle
oldetimemercantile | BigStock.com

A case of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, has been confirmed on a farm in Ayrshire, Scotland, the government announced on May 10.

Precautionary movement restrictions have been put in place at impacted premises and cover animals which have been in contact with the case. Movement restrictions have also been put in place at three further farms – the farm of the animal’s origin and two more holdings where animals that have had access to the same feed are.

Further investigations to identify the origin of the disease are ongoing. This is standard procedure for a confirmed case of classical BSE.

“Following confirmation of a case of classical BSE in Ayrshire, the Scottish government and other agencies took swift and robust action to protect the agriculture sector. This included establishing a precautionary movement ban on the farm,” said Agriculture Minister Jim Fairlie. “The fact we identified this isolated case so quickly is proof that our surveillance system for detecting this type of disease is working effectively.”

The case was identified as a result of routine surveillance and stringent control measures. The animal 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.

The owners of the affected animals are working with authorities on next steps.

“There are strict controls in place to protect consumers from the risk of BSE, including controls on animal feed, and removal of the parts of cattle most likely to carry BSE infectivity,” said Ian McWatt, deputy chief executive of Food Standards Scotland. “Consumers can be reassured that these important protection measures remain in place and that Food Standards Scotland Official Veterinarians and Meat Hygiene Inspectors working in all abattoirs in Scotland will continue to ensure that in respect of BSE controls, the safety of consumers remains a priority.”

All animals over four years of age that die on-farm are routinely tested for BSE under the country’s comprehensive surveillance system. While the disease is not directly transmitted from animal to animal, its cohorts, including offspring, have been traced and isolated, and will be destroyed in line with legal requirements.

In addition to the measures in place for fallen stock and animal feed, there is a strict control regime to protect consumers. This includes the removal of specified risk material such as the spinal column, brain and skull from carcasses destined for human consumption.

“I want to reassure both farmers and the public that the risk associated with this isolated case is minimal,” said Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas. “But, if any farmers are concerned, I would urge them to seek veterinary advice.”

Page 1 of 100
Next Page