USDA has released some additional information on the nation’s fourth case of BSE. The dairy cow was 10 years and seven months old. The animal came from a farm in Tulare County, California. The animal was humanely euthanized after it developed lameness and became recumbent. USDA is stressing that this animal was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, did not enter food supply channels and never presented any risk to human health. The epidemiological investigation will continue and USDA will provide additional information as it becomes available.
The U.S. has a system of three interlocking safeguards against BSE that protects public and animal health. The most important of these safeguards – according to USDA – is the removal of specified risk materials from all animals presented for slaughter in the U.S. The second is a strong feed ban that protects cattle from the disease and the third is the ongoing BSE surveillance program.