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‘Mad cow’ disease identified in carcasses in the Netherlands

Umamah Bakharia |

2 min read
3 February 2023 | 07:30 CAT

Dutch officials had identified a single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as “mad cow disease”, in a cow carcass.

Picture: iStock

However, the infected cow “did not enter the food chain and did not pose a risk to food safety”, says the Netherlands Agriculture Minister Piet Adema in a statement.

BSE is linked to a fatal human condition that could lead to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease if contaminated meat is ingested.

The affected farm has since been sealed off with the location not being provided as the ministry says it is trying to trace the source of the infection.

Any offspring, animals that had grown up with the cow or those that had shared the same feed “are tracked down, tested for BSE and taken to destruction”, added Adema.

The usual form is spread when farmers feed cattle with the same meat and bone meal of a dead or infected animal.

Mad cow disease first appeared in Britain in the 1980s and spread to many countries in Europe and around the world, which triggered a beef shortage.

There have been 88 cases of classic BSE reported in the Netherlands since 1997.


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