BSE 'Mad Cow Disease' Found On Aberdeenshire Farm

BSE has been detected on a farm in Scotland

Officials also stressed that consumers should not yet be anxious by the case because the disease did not enter the human food chain.

A case of Mad Cow Disease has been identified on an Aberdeenshire firm, officials have confirmed.

The case was identified as part of the routine testing of all animals over four years of age that die on farms.

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

The nation was declared "BSE free" in 2009 and was given "negligible risk" status by the World Organisation for Animal Health previous year.

The finding of the disease is a "disappointment", said Scotland's Chief Veterinary Officer, Sheila Voas.

The Scottish Government said the incident did not represent a threat to human health, but livestock on the farm are being quarantined while further investigations take place.

The Animal Health Agency (APHA) is investigating the source of the outbreak.

It is the first case of the disease found on a farm in the United Kingdom since 2015, Bloomberg reported.

BSE was first detected in Britain in the late 1980s, spreading from there to other parts of Europe and ravaging cattle herds until the early 2000s.

It adds that the infectious agent - a prion (an abnormal form of a protein) - which causes BSE in cattle, "can be transmitted to humans through consumption of contaminated meat".

Millions of cattle were culled in the United Kingdom in the 1990s due to BSE.

In the USA, the last verified case of mad cow disease was in Florida in August, according to Reuters.

"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". China had lifted its ban on United Kingdom beef imports following more than two decades of restrictions due to mad cow disease.

Ian McWatt, Director of Operations in Food Standards Scotland reassured consumers that important protection measures are in place.

The case is the first in Scotland in more than a decade.

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