Published Date: 2006-05-03 00:00:00
Subject: PRO/AH> BSE, bovine - USA (AL)(02)
Archive Number: 20060503.1280
BSE, BOVINE - USA (ALABAMA) (02)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 3 May 2006
From: Terry Singeltary <flounder9@VERIZON.NET>
Source: USDA [edited]
USDA Statement Regarding the Conclusion of the Epidemiological
Investigation Into BSE Positive In Alabama; Sparks Announces
Conclusion of Epi Investigation of BSE Positive Cow
Commissioner Ron Sparks has announced that the Alabama Department of
Agriculture and Industries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services' Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) have completed their epidemiological investigation regarding a
cow that tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)
in Alabama in March 2006.
The results indicate that the positive animal, called the index
animal, was a red crossbreed. This animal was non-ambulatory on the
farm, known as the index farm, and examined by a local, private
veterinarian. The veterinarian returned to the farm the following
day, euthanized the animal and collected a sample, which was
submitted for BSE testing. The animal was buried on the farm at that
time and did not enter the animal or human food chain, in accordance
with APHIS protocols.
Alabama officials and APHIS excavated the index animal's carcass and
through dentition, an examination of its teeth, determined the animal
to be more than 10 years old. It was born prior to the implementation
of FDA's 1997 feed ban that minimizes the risk that a cow might
consume feed contaminated with the agent thought to cause BSE.
Alabama state officials and APHIS investigated 36 farms and 5 auction
houses and conducted DNA testing on herds that may have included
relatives of the index animal. State investigators and APHIS were
unable to find any related animals except for the 2 most recent
calves of the index animal. The most recent calf was located at the
same farm as the index animal, and the 2nd calf died the year before.
No other animals of interest were located. The living calf of the
BSE-positive animal is currently being held at APHIS's National
Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa for observation.
The state and federal joint investigation did not reveal the
BSE-positive animal's herd of origin. However, this was not entirely
unexpected due to the age of the animal, along with its lack of
identifying brands, tattoos and tags. Experience worldwide has shown
that it is highly unusual to find BSE in more than one animal in a
herd or in an affected animal's offspring.
To ensure that adequate feed controls were in place in the feed
facilities in the immediate geographic area of the index farm, FDA
conducted a feed investigation into local feed mills that may have
supplied feed to the index animal after the 1997 feed ban. This
investigation found that all local feed mills that handle prohibited
materials have been and continue to be in compliance with the FDA's feed ban.
As part of APHIS's BSE enhanced surveillance program, more than 700
000 samples have been tested since June 2004. To date, only 2 of
these highest risk animals have tested positive for the disease as
part of the surveillance program, for a total of 3 cases of BSE in
the United States. While APHIS's epidemiological investigation did
not locate additional animals of interest, it is important to
remember that human and animal health in the United States are
protected by a system of interlocking safeguards that ensure the
safety of U.S. beef. The most important of these safeguards is the
ban on specified risk materials from the food supply and the FDA's
1997 feed ban.
NOTE: For more information on USDA's epidemiological investigation
and a copy of the report, please visit the APHIS website at
Jim Rogers, USDA 202-690-4755
Rae Jones, FDA 301-827-6242
Terry S. Singeltary