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Cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy euthanized in South Carolina

Officials said the case of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy is isolated and is not contagious.
Credit: Pixabay

CLEMSON, S.C. — Authorities with Clemson Extension announced on Friday that a cow brought to South Carolina from Tennessee has been euthanized after being found to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy - more commonly known as mad cow disease.

Authorities said the cow had been brought to a South Carolina beef processing plant when it began showing symptoms of the disease upon arrival.

Samples were then sent off to a National Animal Health Laboratory Network lab for testing that found it was positive for the disease, which is not contagious.

“This was an isolated case that occurred. The United States has a robust system of safeguards designed to protect human and animal health against BSE," state veterinarian Michael Neault said in a statement from Clemson Extension. "Those safeguards were successful and prevented entry into the public and animal food supply systems.” 

Michael Neault is also the director of Clemson University Livestock Poultry Health.

Clemson Extension credited the latest discovery to the ongoing bovine spongiform encephalopathy surveillance program which allows the USDA to detect the disease even at low levels in the U.S. cattle population.

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