BSE case found on farm in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

A case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) has been confirmed on a farm in Aberdeenshire.

The case was identified as a result of strict control measures are in place, as all animals over four years of age that die on farm are routinely tested for BSE under a comprehensive surveillance system.

In addition to the measures that are in place for fallen stock and animal feed, there is a strict control regime to protect consumers.  This includes the removal of specified risk material such as the spinal column, brain and skull from carcasses.

The case did not enter the human food chain and Food Standards Scotland have confirmed there is no risk to human health as a result of this isolated case. 

In line with the disease prevention response plan, precautionary movement restrictions have been put in place at the farm and Animal Health Agency (APHA) is further investigating to identify the origin of the disease occur.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“Following confirmation of a case of classical BSE in Aberdeenshire, I have activated the Scottish Government’s response plan to protect our valuable farming industry, including establishing a precautionary movement ban being placed on the farm.

“While it is important to stress that this is standard procedure until we have a clear understanding of the diseases origin, this is further proof that our surveillance system for detecting this type of disease is working. Be assured that the Scottish Government and its partners stand ready to respond to any further confirmed cases of the disease in Scotland.”

Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said:

“While it is too early to tell where the disease came from in this case, its detection is proof that our surveillance system is doing its job. We are working closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency to answer this question, and in the meantime, I would urge any farmer who has concerns to immediately seek veterinary advice.

Ian McWatt, Director of Operations in Food Standards Scotland said:

“There are strict controls in place to protect consumers from the risk of BSE, including controls on animal feed, and removal of the parts of cattle most likely to carry BSE infectivity.

“Consumers can be reassured that these important protection measures remain in place and that Food Standards Scotland Official Veterinarians and Meat Hygiene Inspectors working in all abattoirs in Scotland will continue to ensure that in respect of BSE controls, the safety of consumers remains a priority. We will continue to work closely with Scottish Government, other agencies and industry at this time.”

REHIS is a registered charity in Scotland, SC009406

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