Home U.K Mad Cow disease outbreak on Somerset farm – officials close off area

Mad Cow disease outbreak on Somerset farm – officials close off area

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Officials have now rushed to seal off the area in an attempt to stop the infection spreading. This is the first case of the fatal disease identified in the UK since 2018. Movement restrictions have been put in place to stop livestock from leaving the area.

A full investigation is underway to identify its origin.

The official name of Mad Cow disease is bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss stated that a deceased animal has been tested as part of “TSE, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, surveillance controls”.

She added: “This is further proof that our surveillance system for detecting and containing this type of disease is working.

A spokesperson for the Food Standards Agency added: “There are strict controls in place to protect consumers from the risk of BSE.

“These include 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 Agency Official Veterinarians and Meat Hygiene Inspectors working in all abattoirs in England will continue to ensure that the safety of consumers remains the top priority.”

A BSE crisis swept the UK in the 1990s after links between the bovine disease and a fatal condition which can affect humans called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).

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Thousands of cattle were killed in the 1990s to stop the disease spreading through herds and endangering human lives.

By 1996, people had begun to die from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

It affects the brain of people infected with mad cow disease.

There is no treatment for vCJD and 177 people have been killed by the variant since its identification.



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