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Atypical BSE Case Detected in South Carolina

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service last week announced the finding of an atypical case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (in-sef-o-lop-athy). The approximately five-year-old or older beef cow tested positive following routine surveillance protocols at a slaughterhouse in South Carolina. The animal possessed a radio frequency identification tag associated with a herd in Tennessee. USDA APHIS and state animal health officials will conduct a thorough investigation of the case.

Atypical BSE cases occur rarely and spontaneously, often in older cattle. This is only the nation’s 7th case of atypical BSE, following a previous incident in 2018. This is the nation’s 7th detection of BSE. Of the six previous U.S. cases, the first, in 2003, was a case of classical BSE in a cow imported from Canada; the rest have been atypical. U.S. Cattlemen’s Association president Justin Tupper responded, “This animal never entered slaughter channels and at no time entered the food supply chain due to the effectiveness of the surveillance team.”

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