A case of “mad cow disease” identified on a carcass in the Netherlands
A case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, known as “mad cow disease” and potentially fatal to humans, has been identified on the carcass of a cow in the Netherlands, said the Dutch government on Wednesday.
The infected cow “has not entered the food chain and does not pose a food safety concern,” Agriculture Minister Piet Adema said.
The eight-year-old animal was affected by an “atypical” variant of the disease.
The “classic” form of the disease is spread by animal meal contained in cattle feed, in the event that it is contaminated with one or more carcasses of sick animals.
The “atypical” form, which would pose less of a risk to humans, occurs sporadically in older animals. The Netherlands reported the last case of the “atypical” variant in 2011.
This bovine disease can lead to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans through ingestion of meat or offal. , a fatal neurodegenerative syndrome.
The Dutch services have isolated the farm concerned, in the province of South Holland, but whose exact location has not been made public, and are looking for the source of the infection, the minister said.
Any cattle that have been in contact with the sick cow or shared the same feed are tested, slaughtered, and their carcass destroyed, according to the same source.
“A total of 13 cattle have been found, they will be slaughtered and tested”, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mad cow disease first appeared in Great Britain. Britain in the 1980s and spread to many countries in Europe and the rest of the world, leading to a crisis in the beef industry.