BSE Case Confirmed as Isolated Incident

US - The US Department of Agriculture has confirmed that an animal which tested positive with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in April 2012, was an isolated incidence.
calendar icon 7 August 2012
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In its final report, USDA said that at no time was the US food supply or human health at risk, and that the United States’ longstanding system of interlocking safeguards against BSE continues to be effective.

This case was found in an animal that was sampled for the disease at a rendering facility in central California. This animal was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food supply, or to human health in the United States.

In accordance with World Organization for Animal Health guidance, USDA conducted a thorough epidemiological investigation following the BSE detection. This included on-the-ground investigations and records review from the rendering facility, the index farm, and associated premises, as well as traceback for progeny and birth cohorts of the index cow.

The index animal was a 10 year 7 month-old Holstein cow from a central California dairy. The animal was humanely euthanized after it developed lameness and became recumbent, and was sampled by a renderer contracted to collect samples as part of USDA’s ongoing BSE surveillance. Results from immunohistochemistry and Western blot tests at USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed the animal positive for atypical BSE. Samples were also sent to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reference laboratories in Canada and England. The laboratories confirmed that the index cow was positive for atypical (L-type) BSE.

As a result of on-the-ground investigation and records review, USDA and CDFA identified only one live offspring of the cow, which was humanely euthanized and found to be negative for BSE. No birth cohorts of the index animal were found alive.

The carcase of the index animal (along with approximately 90 other carcasses being held at the renderer’s transfer station), were disposed of in a landfill in accordance with all Federal, State and local regulations. The carcase of the index animal did not enter the human or animal food chain.

In conjunction with USDA’s investigation, FDA and CDFA conducted an extensive feed investigation. Twelve feed suppliers were identified to the index premises; one of which was no longer in business. The remaining 11 were found to be in compliance with FDA and CDFA regulations and requirements.

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