Case of Mad Cow Disease confirmed on farm in Aberdeenshire

A case of BSE commonly known as Mad Cow Disease has been confirmed. Stock image. Picture: PA
A case of BSE commonly known as Mad Cow Disease has been confirmed. Stock image. Picture: PA
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A new case of so called “mad cow” disease has been discovered on a farm in Aberdeenshire, it has been confirmed.

Restrictions have now been put in place around the farm believed to be in Huntly, although the case of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) is not believed to be a threat to humans.

It is the first case in the UK for three years and the first Scottish case in a decade.

READ MORE: ’My son caught human form of mad cow disease from his baby food’

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Following confirmation of a case of classical BSE in Aberdeenshire, I have activated the Scottish Government’s response plan to protect our valuable farming industry, including establishing a precautionary movement ban being placed on the farm.

“While it is important to stress that this is standard procedure until we have a clear understanding of the diseases origin, this is further proof that our surveillance system for detecting this type of disease is working. Be assured that the Scottish Government and its partners stand ready to respond to any further confirmed cases of the disease in Scotland.”

Investigation are now being carried out to identify the cause of the outbreak.

Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said: “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, and in the meantime, I would urge any farmer who has concerns to immediately seek veterinary advice.

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.

“Consumers can be reassured that these important protection measures remain in place and that Food Standards Scotland Official Veterinarians and Meat Hygiene Inspectors working in all abattoirs in Scotland will continue to ensure that in respect of BSE controls, the safety of consumers remains a priority. We will continue to work closely with Scottish Government, other agencies and industry at this time.”