Welsh food chiefs have identified a single case of BSE on a farm in Wales.
Officials from the Welsh Government are now working with Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency to investigate the circumstances around the death of the animal from Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also referred to as ‘Mad Cow Disease’
Welsh deputy farming and food minister Rebecca Evans today said the animal had not entered the human food chain and that the Food Standards Agency and Public Health Wales had confirmed there was no risk to human health as a result of “this isolated case”.
“All animals over four years of age that die on a farm are routinely tested for the disease,” she added. “While the disease is not directly transmitted from animal to animal, its cohorts, including offspring, have been traced and isolated, and will be destroyed in line with EU requirements.”
“Identification of this case demonstrates that the controls we have in place are working well.”
Evans added that in addition to the measures in place for fallen stock and animal feed, there was a strict control regime to protect consumers that included the removal of ‘specified risk material’ such as the spinal column, brain and skull from carcasses.
The last case of BSE in Wales was in 2013, while in June this year Irish authorities confirmed the country’s first case of BSE for two years. There was a single case of BSE in Great Britain in 2014.
Two years ago, the US announced it would be lifting a blanket ban on EU beef imports that had been imposed in the wake of the BSE crisis of the 1990s.