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BSE case Discovered in Wales

October 2, 2015

DEFRA have confirmed that a case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) has been identified in a dead cow found on a farm in Wales. Officials haven’t released the identity of the farm or given any other details about the animal. It’s the first time BSE has been discovered in the UK in 2015 and the first case in Wales for two years.

In June, a case of BSE was confirmed at a farm in County Louth in Ireland, but at this time there isn’t thought to be any connection. The animal did not enter the food chain and the Food Standards Agency and Public Health Wales said there was no risk to human health as a result of the isolated case, although the discovery will still come as a blow to farmers.

Rebecca Evans, Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, feels it shows that control measures introduced in the late 1990‘s are still adequate. “Identification of this case demonstrates that the controls we have in place are working well. All animals over four years of age that die on a farm are routinely tested for the disease under our comprehensive surveillance system.” She said. “Beef across the UK continues to be produced in compliance with the World Organisation for Animal Health rules.”

The link between BSE and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) was identified in 1996 and resulted in 4.4 million cows being slaughtered while domestic sales of beef fell by up to 40% costing the economy an estimated £740 million.