Welsh government had announced on Thursday, Oct. 1 that a new case of mad cow disease had been found in a farm in Wales, UK.
The recent case of the disease, which is also known as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), was discovered in a dead cow after a routine testing. The series of highly-strict control interventions were part of a government action performed on all dead animals aged four years old and above to detect the disease. The detection of the case is said to signify that the control measures being performed by the government are working well.
Now, the scientists of the Welsh government will be working to find the exact cause of the animal infection. Other cows, including any offspring will be identified and killed.
“My officials are working closely with Defra [the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] and the APHA to investigate the circumstances of this case,” said Rebecca Evans, the Welsh government deputy minister for farming and food.
Evans added that aside from the actions that they have implemented for fallen stock and animal feed, strict control measures will also be implemented to safeguard consumers. One of the measures that Evans identified is the removal of the skull, brain and spinal column of the carcasses, as these are regarded as “specified risk materials.” Nonetheless, she assured that the beef being produced across the UK is treated according to the animal health rules standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Fortunately, the contaminated animal did not enter the food supply chain. The Food Standards Agency and Public Health in Wales has also confirmed that the isolated case did not pose risk to human health.
Despite the confirmation that the BSE case had no impact to public health, the beef sector and farming industry in Wales might still suffer. Officials from the opposition has called on the Welsh government to give more data about the incident and to ensure that farmers are assisted.
The new mad cow disease victim is the first detected case in Wales since 2013. The BSE epidemic that happened in Britain from 1986 to 2001 was said to be among the worst case of animal epidemics and public health threats that the nation had witnessed.
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