Published Date: 2003-02-02 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH> BSE - Japan: source
Archive Number: 20030202.0292
BSE - JAPAN: SOURCE
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 29 Jan 2003
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: Japan Times 29 Jan 2003 [edited]
Milk feed linked to 6th mad cow
The agriculture department of the Hokkaido Prefectural Government confirmed
Tuesday that the 6th cow infected with mad cow disease was fed a milk
substitute similar to the one given to all 5 cows previously found suffering
from the disease.
A dairy farmer in Shibecha, Hokkaido, raised the Holstein on 9 types of
feed, including Miru Food A Super, the department said, confirming an
announcement by the town's agricultural cooperative on 20 Jan 2003. The
milk substitute was produced at a factory in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture,
that manufactured the feed given to the first 5 cows found with the
brain-wasting disease also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
The 6th cow was sold to a Wakayama farmer on 17 Feb 1999, according to the
report by the prefectural agriculture department. The health ministry
confirmed on 19 Jan 2003 that the animal was infected with mad cow disease.
4 days later, the ministry confirmed that a 7th cow, also raised in
Hokkaido, has been infected with mad cow disease. Hokkaido public health
department officials suspect the cow consumed the same type of feed.
The first 5 cows had been fed either Miru Food A or a similar brand, called
Pure Milk, that has nearly identical ingredients. Pure Milk is also made by
the Gunma factory. The feed was found to have included animal fat made in
which has also experienced an outbreak of mad cow disease. A causal
relationship between the feed and the infections has not been determined.
The 6th cow produced a female calf in January 1999 that was killed in
February 2002 after suffering an injury, according to the report.
Date: 16 Jan 2003
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: CompuServe OurWorld, 16 Jan 2003, updated 27 Jan 2003 [translated
from Dutch, edited]
Report on origin of BSE in the Netherlands
The following is the summary paragraph in the (20 pages) document "Bovine
Spongiform Encephalopathy - Second Opinion" published by the General
Inspection Service (AID) in the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature
Management and Fisheries:
In the Netherlands, 43 cases of BSE have been recorded in cows until now [at
the time of summarizing; the total number, until the end of 2002, has become
52, and 4 additional cases have been reported during January 2003. -
Mod.AS]. The AID carried out an investigation in each case, but the source
of infection could not be traced in any of them.
Since several dozen files on these investigations are available, the AID has
been instructed to summarize the available data, to carry out -- if
necessary -- additional investigations, and to analyze their combined
results. The AID has been requested to form, in this way, a second opinion
regarding the following:
- The source of BSE infections in the Netherlands;
- The establishment of the so-called "BSE triangle" in the middle/eastern
parts of the country.
Based on the literature, the Investigation Team came to a conclusion that
the epidemic most probably began in the UK, with several sporadic BSE cases
resulting from so-called spontaneous mutations.
Based upon the said literature search and upon the expertise available
within AID, 5 hypotheses on the possible routes of disease dissemination
have been put forward: hereditary, calf-milk replacers, fertilizer, cattle
feedstuffs, and "side-shifting." All 5 hypotheses have been tested using the
data collected from the first 30 BSE cases in the Netherlands. The only
hypothesis that seems to fall in line with all the said 30 cases is the one
referring to "side shifting," namely the BSE contamination of cattle feed by
its contact with feed for other animals that was contaminated.
Investigations on the production, trade, and processing of animal feed led
to the conclusion that the possibility that import to the Netherlands of
BSE-contaminated animal-derived feed of British origin, via the Republic of
Ireland and/or Switzerland, could not be ruled out. This feed could have
cross-contaminated cattle feed in plants that did not maintain the required
level of separation between production lines for cattle feed (which should
not contain animal-derived meal) and lines of feed for other animal species
(from which animal-derived meals were not excluded), as well as during
transportation or on the farms themselves.
The investigations carried out so far, lead to the following conclusions:
- The BSE infections in cattle in the Netherlands are probably the outcome
of the feeding of the relevant cows with cattle feed that contained BSE
prions. These prions could have been present in one or more batches of
animal-derived meals of British origin that were not adequately
heat-treated. By way of side-shifting, these contaminated batches could find
their way into mixed concentrates intended for cattle.
- the so-called "BSE triangle" can be explained by the presence in this
region of a higher number of animal-feed plants not maintaining the required
level of separation between production lines for cattle feed and those for
feed of other species, compared with other parts of the Netherlands.
[The Japanese media has speculated, in several publications -- including the
one cited above -- that BSE prions could have been introduced through
calf-milk-replacers that included (probably contaminated) animal fat from
the Netherlands. The Dutch AID report does not support the hypothesis
incriminating calf-milk-replacers, at least to the extent it concerns the
investigated circumstances in the Netherlands. This conclusion is based upon
the following findings, which appear in the section "Milk replacers
hypothesis", on page 10 of the Dutch report:
"a. In 6 of the 30 investigated cases, only cows' milk from the same farm
was fed to the calves, while no calf-milk replacers were purchased.
b. In the other 24 cases, milk-replacers were bought from various producers.
In none of those could a connection be found between the calf-milk-replacers
and the use, as raw material, of (probably contaminated) animal-derived
The investigators concluded: "The calf-milk replacers hypothesis is not
supported by the facts. Based upon the investigation's results, the
investigation team regards the possibility that infection of Dutch cattle
could have occurred this way as well-nigh excluded".