USDA announces that Mad Cow predicament in Alabama is uncommon and not contagiousThe agricultural department of the US announced that an 11 year cow has been detected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in Alabama. This is the fifth case in US since 2003. The unscientific name for BSE is mad cow disease. This disease had reached epidemic proportions in Great Britain in late 1980s to early 1990s.

The Alabama case was rendered uncommon as mad cow is a rare disease that occurs in the cattle older than eight years arising automatically in the herd. However, the USDA says that the Alabama cow was not slaughtered and therefore never entered the food supply chain and thus does not pose any hazard to the health in US or anywhere else. This animal tested positive for atypical L type BSE according to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL).

During the procedural inspection the cow was perceived showing clinical signs of BSE at the Alabama livestock market.  Two types of BSE’s exist like the classic and atypical.Classical BSE, which is associated with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in people, caused the British epidemic.

Meal consisting of meat and bone and which has protein from rendered contaminated cattle was the basis for Europe’s Mad Cow outbreak. BSE is not contagious.

In the US fodder containing mammalian protein for the cattle has been banned. The US has a minimal risk rating BSE from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). OIE parameters say that atypical BSE cases do not have any effect on official BSE risk status recognition as this disease is a result of spontaneity in herds at a very low ratio.