BSE 'Mad Cow Disease' Found On Aberdeenshire Farm

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A case of BSE, also known as mad cow disease, has been confirmed on a farm in Aberdeenshire, the Scottish government has said.

There is not yet believed to be a threat to humans, as a probe at the farm in Aberdeenshire gets underway.

The disease has been reduced to a handful of cases each year in the United Kingdom, with the last recorded case in Wales in 2015. "This form of BSE is acquired by cattle from BSE-contaminated food", Baylis said.

Restrictions are in place at the farm in Scotland as an investigation into the outbreak continues.

It has been described as an "isolated case" and did not enter the human food chain, meaning there is no risk to human health, a spokesman for Food Standards Scotland said.

Britain grappled with a massive outbreak throughout the 1990s when hundreds of thousands of cattle were diagnosed with BSE, resulting n a worldwide ban on beef exports from the United Kingdom.

More than 180,000 cattle were thought to have been struck down by the disease and the European Union put a ban on importing British beef between 1996 and 2006.

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The U.S. has its own unpleasant history of mad cow disease, though. Although the import ban was lifted in 2014, actual imports have yet to resume pending negotiations between the two countries, so the incident in Scotland won't have any effect on American beef.

The real impact of this case will be that Scotland is nearly certain to lose its status as an area with negligible BSE risk, which could affect whether importers buy British beef.

BSE was first detected in Britain in the late 1980s, spreading from there to other parts of Europe and ravaging cattle herds until the early 2000s.

Symptoms typically include a lack of co-ordination and aggression, leading it to be known as mad cow disease.

If an Aussie contracts vCJD, it will likely be because they travelled regularly, or lived for some time in the United Kingdom from 1980 to 1996, according to the Australian Department of Health. The outbreak reached its peak in January 1993, when nearly 1,000 new cases were reported every week.

"Every animal that dies over 48 months is tested, we test something like 20,000 samples a year from Scotland, this one was picked up as a result of that, it's the first one that's been picked up since 2008". It is republished with permission.

This is an edited version of a story that originally appeared on The Sun.

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