On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) announced that an aytpical case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), a neurologic disease of cattle, has been found in a bovine animal that arrived at a slaughterhouse in South Carolina.
The approximately five-year-old or older beef cow tested positive following routine surveillance protocols and the carcass was condemned soon after. The animal possessed a radio frequency identification tag associated with a herd in Tennessee. USDA APHIS and state animal health officials will conduct a thorough investigation of the case.
“Atypical” BSE cases occur rarely and spontaneously, often in older cattle. This is only the nation’s 7th case of atypical BSE, following a previous incident in 2018.
Of the six previous U.S. cases, the first, in 2003, was a case of classical BSE in a cow imported from Canada; the rest have been atypical.
U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) president Justin Tupper issued the following statement:
“USCA is grateful to the nationwide team of veterinarians, animal health officials, meat inspectors, and others who ensure the wellbeing of the U.S. cattle herd and the safety of our food supply. The swift detection of this case proves that the systems and protocols we have put in place are working.
“This animal never entered slaughter channels and at no time entered the food supply chain due to the effectiveness of the surveillance team and, as a result, domestic and international trade markets can reman active and strong with no hit to consumer confidence.”