Ireland reports atypical case of mad cow disease

By Oscar Rousseau contact

- Last updated on GMT

The BSE case will not impact Ireland's beef trade, according to the government
The BSE case will not impact Ireland's beef trade, according to the government

Related tags: Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Ireland

The Republic of Ireland has reported a case of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) – colloquially known as mad cow disease – in an 18-year-old cow.

Ireland’s Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) received a preliminary positive result, since backed up by laboratory tests on 14 January 2017.

The animal, located in Galway in the west of Ireland, has not entered the food chain and will be incinerated, the DAFM said. The case does not pose a public health risk either.

The animal was tested at a knackery as part of Ireland’s ongoing sampling of animals over 48 months old that have died on farm. Identification of the atypical BSE​ case will not have an impact on Ireland’s BSE ‘controlled risk’ status, granted by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), DAFM confirmed.

Atypical BSE – at a glance

First recognised in the early noughties in Europe following large-scale testing of BSE​, 101 cases of atypical BSE have been registered in the European Union between 2003 and 2015. In contrast, nearly 3,000 classical BSE cases were reported in the EU during the same period. Ireland has reported three cases of atypical BSE. It has also been identified in Brazil and the US.

The OIE reported that the animal was an Aberdeen Angus female, born on 5 March 1998. OIE claimed the farmer said the animal appeared stiff for two weeks prior to its death. Twice in January, the cow appeared inactive before the decision was made to euthanise the animal.

There are currently two types of BSE: classical BSE and atypical BSE. It is believed that the latter occurs spontaneously.

Related topics: Ireland, United States, Brazil, Livestock, EU, Beef

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Reply to Gary Chandler

Posted by Elaine,

Your comments are spot on, BSE is sadly but a memory to most people, if a memory at all...all the neurological problems now afflicting the human race is identifiable to the symptoms exhibited by the animals that suffer it too.....but feeding animal parts is still practiced, we appear to have spawned a monster that we have lost total control of. As for sewage as fertilizer...human effluence has never been viable for this use, treated or not, one way or another we are poisoning our own lifelines.....our food.

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Mad Cows and Mad Policies

Posted by gary chandler,

Sick livestock are just the tip of an iceberg. They are merely a symptom of a much bigger problem. Misinformation and mismanagement are fanning the flames of a public health disaster. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other forms of neurodegenerative disease are rapidly becoming the leading cause of death around the world. Mad cow disease is part of the same spectrum—known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. It's time to classify sewage sludge (biosolids) and its by-products as infectious waste. It isn't fertilizer. The risk assessments were conducted before we knew about deadly and unstoppable prions and prion disease.

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