BSE case confirmed in Brazil

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A 12-year-old cow in Brazil has been confirmed to have Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) after suspicions of neurological problems among arrival at a slaughterhouse in the state on Mato Grosso in April.  

According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) the prion marker was identified after the cow had problems during transport and was found fallen on April 14, 2014. Emergency slaughter was issued and no products from the animal entered the food chain.

“The animal was born and raised in the same full-cycle beef farm on extensive grazing. Meat and other products from this animal did not enter the food chain and there was no risk for human population,” says an OIE report. “Tracing back animal movements since 2000, it was established that some animals from the birth cohort of this animal had been moved to 10 other properties in 3 municipalities in the state of Mato Grosso. During the epidemiological investigation, 49 animals from the cohort, which did not show clinical signs of the disease, were destroyed.”

OIE reports nervous tissue samples were taken from the cohort animals and tested negative on May 1 at the National Agricultural Laboratory.

The BSE incident comes shortly after the comment period on USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proposal closed. The proposal would allow fresh beef imports from 14 Brazilian states, including Mato Grosso.

Agricultural groups such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Farmers Union have submitted comments opposing the rule due to potential risk of foot and mouth disease being brought into the United States.

Read more about the APHIS proposal here.

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