News Update

Japan discovers first BSE case in a beef animal
March 20, 2006

Japanese officials have confirmed the country’s first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a beef cow, according to The infected animal, a nonambulatory 14-year-old cow from the southern prefecture of Nagasaki, was suspected of having the disease after giving birth last Monday and later tested positive last Friday.

This announcement marks the 24th confirmed case of BSE in Japan. However, all previous cases involved dairy cattle aged 1 to 9 years old, Kyodo News Service quoted ministry officials as saying.

Since its first BSE case was discovered in 2001, Japan has enforced a ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban and tests every domestically harvest cow intended for the meat market.

USDA confirms age of infected cow

After exhuming the body of the Alabama beef cow diagnosed last week with BSE, officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have confirmed through dentition that the animal was at least 10 years old, reported.

The article reports that the age of the animal is important because some trading partners, notably South Korea, could cut off beef trade if a case of BSE is discovered in an animal born after the United State’s 1997 ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban. South Korea announced it would send experts to investigate the animal’s age.

Additionally, the search for offspring and former herdmates continues. Officials at USDA’s Ames, Iowa, laboratory are holding for observation one of the animal’s offspring that was located.

— compiled by Meghan Soderstrom, assistant editor, Angus Productions Inc.

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