Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Friday 28 July 2017

Spain reports case of mad cow disease in north-western region

BSE was first reported in Britain in the mid-1980s
BSE was first reported in Britain in the mid-1980s
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Spain has reported a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has said.

The diseased cow belonged to a herd of 134 cattle on a farm near the city of Salamanca in the north-western region of Castilla-Leon, according to a report issued on Friday to the OIE by Spain's ministry for agriculture, food and the environment.

The animal was destroyed after routine controls found that it tested positive for atypical BSE type L.

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

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.

Earlier this year, the Department of Agriculture identified a case of ‘Atypical BSE’ in an 18 year old cow on a farm in Galway, through its surveillance of ‘fallen’ animals (died on farm) at knackeries.

Atypical BSE is different to 'classical' BSE in that classical BSE (which was the basis of the extensive incidence of BSE which commenced some in the 1980s) was associated with the feeding of meat-and-bone meal, where scientific evidence indicates that BSE is acquired in the first year of life.

Atypical BSE which has been identified more recently and which is thought to occur spontaneously.


There have been 101 atypical BSE cases identified in the European Union during the period 2003 to 2015. This compares to a total of 2,999 cases of classical BSE during the same period.

Atypical BSE occurs sporadically in older animals with a low incidence rate. It was first recognised in the early 2000s in Europe following the large scale testing of livestock for BSE that was put in place at that time.

Press Association