Mad Cow disease confirmed on Scottish farm

BREAKING: Mad cow disease – BSE – found on Scottish farm

BREAKING: Mad cow disease – BSE – found on Scottish farm

Restrictions have been put in place at the unnamed farm as investigators try to establish the source of the fatal disease, known in full as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.

Scottish Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has activated a Government response plan to protect the farming industry.

"It is described as "classical BSE", like the vast majority of cases we have seen in the UK".

It has been described as an "isolated case" and did not enter the human food chain, meaning there is no risk to human health, a spokesman for Food Standards Scotland said.

Scotland's Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said it could be "months" before the investigation yielded definitive results.

Any farmer with concerns is advised to seek immediate veterinary advice.

People can be infected with a version of mad cow called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) after eating meat or food made from cows that have been infected with BSE, according to the FDA.

A global ban on the export of British beef was imposed in March 1996 and this remained in place until the European Union lifted it 10 years later.

Risk statuses are applied in reference to how long a country has been free from BSE.

Scientists think the disease is caused when cows eat feed "contaminated with parts that came from another cow that was sick with BSE".

He said: 'While it is important to stress that this is standard procedure until we have a clear understanding of the disease's origin, this is further proof that our surveillance system for detecting this type of disease is working'.

More than 180,000 cattle were infected in the United Kingdom and 4.4 million slaughtered during an eradication program in the 1990s.

It is believed to be "isolated", and was discovered after routine tests that take place after an animal dies on a farm.

"Be assured that the Scottish Government and its partners stand ready to respond to any further confirmed cases of the disease in Scotland".

Ian McWatt, director of operations at Food Standards Scotland, noted that there are "strict controls in place to protect consumers from the risk of BSE" and that officials remain vigilant.

Only the infectious agent causing Classical BSE has been demonstrated to be transmissible to humans and was first diagnosed in the United Kingdom in 1986.

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