Scotland BSE case reinstates controlled risk status

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

The Scottish Government said it did not represent a threat to human health.
The Scottish Government said it did not represent a threat to human health.
A case of BSE, also known as mad cow disease, has been confirmed on a farm in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Precautionary movement restrictions have been put in place at the farm, while further investigations to identify the origin of the disease are taking place.

The Scottish Government reassured the public the development did not represent a threat to human health.

“Following confirmation of a case of classical BSE in Aberdeenshire, I have activated the Scottish Government’s response plan to protect our valuable farming industry, including establishing a precautionary movement ban being placed on the farm,”​ said rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing.

‘Surveillance working’

“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. Be assured that the Scottish Government and its partners stand ready to respond to any further confirmed cases of the disease in Scotland.”​Chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas said it was too early to tell where the disease came from in this case.

“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,”​ she said.

‘Strict controls’

Ian McWatt, FSS director of operations, said: “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.”

Martin Morgan, executive manager, Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, said: “Today’s announcement is clearly disappointing for the whole Scottish beef industry. While this one isolated case does not pose any health risks, it returns our international trading status in relation to BSE to controlled risk (CR), the same ranking as already applies in England and Wales. Member companies are already taking the necessary action to direct all SRM items to the appropriate disposal channels.”

This is the first case of BSE in Scotland for almost a decade.

Related topics: Industry & Markets, United Kingdom, Beef

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