March 17, 2006 -- During the last week, a new case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was reported and confirmed. This is the third confirmed case in the United States in 27 months.
The animal was a non-ambulatory beef cow on a farm in Alabama. The animal was euthanized and buried on the farm and did not enter the animal or the human food chains.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday evening that government experts have confirmed an earlier estimate that the cow confirmed positive for BSE was at least 10 years old. That means the cow was born and possibly infected before U.S. cattle feed safety rules were put in place in 1997 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The USDA also announced Thursday that it has located one offspring of the BSE-infected cow, a 6-week-old calf that has been sent to USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, for observation.
?We continue working with Alabama animal health officials to conduct an epidemiological investigation to gather any further information we can on the herd of origin of this animal. The animal had only resided on the most recent farm in Alabama for less than a year,? stated U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Chief Veterinary Officer, John Clifford, DVM.
Alabama and federal government officials are scheduled to hold a press conference today to further discuss the situation.