A new case of BSE has been detected in the Canton of St. Gallen, the first in five years.


"/> A new case of BSE has been detected in the Canton of St. Gallen, the first in five years.


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New mad cow disease case detected


A new case of BSE has been detected in the Canton of St. Gallen, the first in five years.


The Swiss Federal Veterinary Office said the new case has been detected in a dead cow in a farm near St. Gallen, northeastern Switzerland.

Tests have shown it is a strain of atypical BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) that, unlike typical BSE, is believed to rise spontaneously, rather than resulting from transmission through feed or the environment. Atypical BSE has been diagnosed in older cows across Europe.

The animal was born in September 2003, two and a half years after a total ban of animal feed came into force in Switzerland and the rest of Europe.

The latest case of mad cow disease in the country dates back to 2006, the office said in a statement.

Experts say the situation in Switzerland remains overall positive, but warn that isolated strains of BSE can still occur.

Since the first case was detected in 1990, Switzerland recorded a total of 464 cases of mad cow disease, the statement said. 


FACTCHECK: Are Switzerland’s Greens banned from eating meat?

Switzerland’s Greens have sought to change perceptions that they’re a party focused on banning anything fun. But have they truly put restrictions on eating meat and drinking alcohol in place?

FACTCHECK: Are Switzerland’s Greens banned from eating meat?

In late May, Swiss media reported that the Geneva chapter of the Green Party had attempted to ban its own representatives and staff from eating meat or drinking alcohol while acting in an official capacity. 

The measures were put to a vote. While the alcohol ban failed by a large majority, the ban on eating meat was upheld, 

Switzerland’s French-language Le Temps newspaper ran the headline ‘Last entrecôte for Green politicians’, while German-language tabloid Blick published an article with the title ‘Geneva Greens fight about the sausage’. 

While some Green politicians have spoken out publicly in favour of the move – Young Greens representative Sophie Desbiolles said the ban “was not radical, it makes sense” – others were unhappy about the negative publicity the ban had bought the party. 

Geneva Councilor Lisa Mazzone said that while a discussion about the environmental impact of meat was always welcome, “we shouldn’t turn it into a ban”.

“Every time the candidates are at an event, they would be forced to address this promise of waiver and make a political statement. That can be counterproductive”.

READ MORE: The 12 strange laws in Switzerland you need to know

Ban to be reconsidered

At a federal level, the Greens said they would not be extending the ban, saying it was better for individuals to make their own choices. 

Green President Balthasar Glättli said party events tend to be vegetarian, but not due to hard and fast rules. 

“Personally, I believe that the choice of menu is also a matter of personal responsibility for Green MPs” Glättli told Swiss media, saying he usually but not always chooses vegetarian food. 

Federal colleague Meret Schneider, who is a vegan, said such bans led to unwelcome publicity for the party which meant they were less able to carry out their actual duties. 

“It would be like banning Green MPs from flying overseas or driving.”  

“That stirs up resentment and leads to negative reactions.”

The Geneva Greens have since announced that the ban would be reconsidered, with another vote to be held on June 11th.