Switzerland detects 'atypical' case of mad cow disease

AFP - [email protected]
Switzerland detects 'atypical' case of mad cow disease
Photo: AFP

Switzerland on Thursday reported an "atypical" case of mad cow disease but said there was no danger to human health.


The 13-year-old cow was slaughtered immediately and the carcass incinerated, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office said in a statement.

"The analysis showed that this was not the classical type but the atypical strain of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy)," the statement said.

Atypical BSE refers to "naturally and sporadically occurring forms, which are believed to occur in all cattle populations at a very low rate," according to the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE).

"This atypical form of BSE is not dangerous for human health," a spokeswoman for the Swiss agency told AFP.

The isolated case, the first in Switzerland since 2012, was predicted to have no consequences for the herd from which the animal came.

The appearance of the first cases of mad cow disease in 1986 in Britain caused a public health scare that lasted several years.

The European Union ordered a worldwide embargo on British beef and its derivatives that was lifted in Europe in 1999.


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