Scottish government identifies case of mad cow disease

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

Andrew MacAskill

Scotland’s government said on Thursday that a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, had been discovered on a farm in Aberdeenshire.

The government said precautionary movement restrictions have been put in place at the farm, while further investigations are carried out to identify the origin of the disease.

“I have activated the Scottish government’s response plan to protect our valuable farming industry, including establishing a precautionary movement ban being placed on the farm,” Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s farming minister, said in a statement.

"The case was identified as a result of strict control measures we have in place.  It did not enter the human food chain and Food Standards Scotland have confirmed there is no risk to human health as a result of this isolated case," the statement said.

Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said while it is too early to tell where the disease came from in this case, its detection is proof that the authorities surveillance system is doing its job.

"We are working closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency to answer this question, and in the meantime, I would urge any farmer who has concerns to immediately seek veterinary advice."

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