Mad Cow Case Raises New Fears over BSE; Infection of Animal Born after Safety Controls Suggests Disease Can Be Passed from Mother
A NEW BSE scare erupted last night after it emerged that a cow born after the introduction of strict controls to eradicate the deadly disease had been infected.
Food safety experts and consumer groups called for a 'thorough and transparent investigation' into how the animal had contracted BSE and any implications for human health.
The disease is most likely to have been passed on by the cow's mother - suggesting the epidemic in cattle could last longer than previously suspected. It also raises the chances that women could pass the condition on to their children.
Another theory is that the cow, which has been slaughtered.
could have been infected by contaminated feed or the illegal use of a product left over from the time before feeds containing animal remains were banned.
Anyone who ate BSE-infected beef in the 1980s and early 1990s is at risk of contracting variant CJD, which has already claimed 56 lives.
The cow, a Holstein, was diagnosed as suffering from BSE on Tuesday on a farm in Dorset where it had been born on August 25 1996. It arrived three weeks after tough control measures were introduced on feed containing meat and bonemeal - thought to have triggered the BSE crisis.
Agriculture Minister Nick Brown told the Commons yesterday that an investigation would be carried out by the state veterinary service. …