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California BSE Case Study Completed

USDA ends three-month investigation into California BSE case; says only one bovine was affected.

A California Holstein discovered to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in April was an isolated case and didn’t pose a threat to the food supply, a report issued by USDA says.

A three-month investigation looked into the movements of the infected dairy cow, her offspring and the food eaten by the herd. The investigation turned up no other cases of BSE.

“The results of this thorough investigation confirmed that at no time was the U.S. food supply or human health at risk, and that the U.S.’s longstanding system of interlocking safeguards against BSE continues to be effective,” says John Clifford, DVM, USDA’s chief veterinary officer.

The 10-year-old dairy cow, only the fourth with the sickness ever discovered in the U.S., was found as part of a USDA program that tests for the fatal brain disease in about 40,000 of the 35 million cows slaughtered each year. The animal was unable to stand before it was killed and sent April 18 to a rendering plant at a Hanford, CA, transfer station.

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