Cow at SC facility tests positive for Mad Cow Disease

Clemson University announced that a cow has tested positive for "Mad Cow Disease" at a beef processing plant in South Carolina
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 8:52 PM EDT|Updated: May. 22, 2023 at 9:07 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Clemson University announced that a cow recently tested positive for atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease after it arrived at a South Carolina beef processing plant.

Officials said the cow began showing symptoms of the disease after it arrived at the facility and was quickly euthanized.

According to officials, samples were sent to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) lab for testing, and the results indicated that the cow may have had the disease. Following this result, they sent the samples to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL). These results confirmed that the cow was positive for atypical L-type BSE.

“This was an isolated case that occurred. The United States has a robust system of safeguards designed to protect human and animal health against BSE. Those safeguards were successful and prevented entry into the public and animal food supply systems,” said Michael Neault, South Carolina State Veterinarian and director of Clemson University Livestock Poultry Health.

Officials stated that BSE is not contagious and has two types, classical and atypical. They added that Classical BSE is the form that mainly occurred in the United Kingdom, beginning in the late 1980s, and was linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in people.

Officials said this case is only the seventh confirmed case of BSE in the United States. They further explained that the United States has safeguards that protect public and animal health. These safeguards include a feed ban that protects cattle from the disease and removing the parts of an animal that would contain BSE before it is slaughtered for consumption. There is also an ongoing BSE surveillance program that helps the United States Department of Agriculture to detect the disease.