Herd will be searched for additional cases of mad cow, a fatal
Gilroy – The cow that tested positive for mad cow disease last week was a 12-year-old animal that was born and raised in Texas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday.
John Clifford, the USDA’s chief veterinarian, said that the cow’s herd will be searched for additional cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a brain-wasting disease fatal to humans.
“Experience worldwide has shown us that it is highly unusual to find BSE in more than one animal in a herd or in an affected animal’s offspring,” Clifford said. “Nevertheless, all animals of interest will be tested for BSE.”
Clifford also said that he believes the cow was infected before a 1997 ban on so-called ruminant-to-ruminant feeding, in which cattle were fed with parcels of ground cattle and chickens, and that the cow was discovered at a pet food processing plant.
“I emphasize that this animal did not enter the human food chain,” Clifford said.”
The USDA announced the positive result Friday, after seven months of contradictory test results.
The case is believed to be the first in an animal born in the U.S.
The previous mad cow case discovered here was in a Canadian-born cow.
The announcement has not had a dramatic effect on the local cattle market, though prices were down slightly earlier this week at the 101 Livestock Market in Aromas.
Four-hundred pound cattle that brought as much as $1.35 a pound a year ago fetched about $1.25 Tuesday. Seven-hundred pounders were steady at about $1.07.
But cattle in the 800-pound class brought less than a dollar, much less than what area ranchers got just last week.