Aberdeenshire farmer speaks of heartbreak after BSE case confirmed

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

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

The Australian Government locked out the importation of British beef and beef products after the disease was linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in 1996.

The Scottish government announced on Thursday that a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, had been discovered on a farm in Aberdeenshire.

"Precautionary movement restrictions have been put in place at the farm, while further investigations to identify the origin of the disease occur", the Scottish government said.

Prior to the discovery of the latest case, Scotland had been BSE free since 2009.

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Though it is not directly transmitted between animals, "its cohorts, including offspring" will now be destroyed in line with European Union requirements, the Scottish government said.

It said the incident did not pose a risk to human health, however it means Scotland's BSE risk status has been downgraded from negligible risk status to controlled risk status - the same as in England and Wales.

"There are strict controls in place to protect consumers from the risk of BSE, including controls on animal feed, and removal of the parts of cattle most likely to carry BSE infectivity", said Ian McWatt, the Director of Operations in Food Standards Scotland.

Back in the 90s there was a big problem with BSE and we've learned an very bad lot of lessons from then and there are various controls in place to make sure that never happens again.

It is thought to be caused by proteins known as prions.

'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'.

"Consumers can be reassured that these important protection measures remain in place".

Ms Voas told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "The animal itself is dead, she died before she was tested, and there are three other animals, possibly four, on the farm that will need to be slaughtered purely as a precautionary basis".

"With effective surveillance, countries without conventional BSE can detect odd cases of atypical BSE, and atypical cases in the United Kingdom must be expected".

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