USDA Reports New BSE Case

No Trade Risks Expected From Atypical BSE Case Found in Tennessee Cow

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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A Tennessee beef cow tested positive for an atypical strain of BSE after arriving at a South Carolina processing plant. The animal did not make it into the food supply chain and USDA does not expect any trade repercussions from the case. (DTN file photo)

OMAHA (DTN) -- A 5-year-old or older beef cow from Tennessee sent for slaughter at a South Carolina processing plant has tested positive for an atypical case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

USDA reported the details on the latest case of BSE late Friday afternoon.

In a news release, USDA officials stated the cow was tested as part of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) surveillance of animals "deemed unsuitable for slaughter," at the plant. "This animal never entered slaughter channels and at no time presented a risk to the food supply or to human health in the United States."

The National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the cow was positive for atypical L-type BSE.

USDA stated a radio frequency identification tag on the cow associated it with a herd in Tennessee.

"APHIS and veterinary officials in South Carolina and Tennessee are gathering more information during this ongoing investigation," USDA stated.

At one time, a case of BSE would cause border shutdowns and export bans, but regulatory agencies globally have reached an agreement over time to reduce those risks. USDA stated Friday that the U.S. has negligible risk status for BSE with the World Organization for Animal Health, so USDA officials do not expect any trade impacts as a result of this case.

The cow marks the seventh case of BSE discovered in the U.S. The first case, a cow imported from Canada in 2003 was a case of "classical BSE" while the other six domestic cows that tested positive have been "atypical (H- or L-type) BSE," USDA noted.

"Atypical BSE generally occurs in older cattle and seems to arise rarely and spontaneously in all cattle populations," USDA stated.

More details on BSE can be found at…

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Chris Clayton