‘Mad cow disease’ at Aberdeenshire farm after BSE confirmed
A case of BSE – so-called mad cow disease – has been confirmed at a farm in Aberdeenshire.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said a movement ban was now in place on the unnamed farm.
Investigations are under way to identify the origin of the disease – the first of its kind in Scotland in 10 years – which was found after an animal died.
The “isolated” case was identified before entering the human food chain.
There are understood to have been 16 cases in the UK since 2011, with the last in 2015.
Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said: “I would urge any farmer who has concerns to seek veterinary advice.”
She added: “While it is too early to tell where the disease came from in this case, its detection is proof that our surveillance system is doing its job.
“We are working closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency to answer this question.”
Andrew McCornick, president of NFU Scotland, said: “It is disappointing to learn of this BSE case within the Aberdeenshire area.
“Whilst we lose our negligible risk status, it is not unexpected to see a new case and demonstrates the efficacy of the surveillance measures in place. This simply brings us back in line with the rest of Great Britain, reverting back to where we were 18 months ago.
“When Scotland applied for BSE negligible risk status it was with the full knowledge that there was every possibility of a sporadic case of BSE emerging as has been the case in France and Ireland.”
Ian McWatt, director of operations in Food Standards Scotland, said: “There are strict controls in place to protect consumers from the risk of BSE, including controls on animal feed, and removal of the parts of cattle most likely to carry BSE infectivity.”
BSE stands for bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
The cow was discovered to have BSE following routine tests carried out when an animal dies on a farm.
Scottish calves exported from Ramsgate, England – Tuesday 16th October.
The transporter was a CALF transporter, a guy called McCreery, Southern Irish, who has been working out of Scotland for some time taking Scottish calves on P&O via Cairnryan to Larne, then Southern Ireland to Rosslere, then to Cherbourg (France) and on to Spain.
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