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Cow Disease Not A Threat

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cow Disease Not A Threat

An atypical disease discovered in a Tennessee Cow is no cause for concern according to a UT Extension Agent.

A cow shipped to a South Carolina processing plant was pulled from the production line prior to processing. Post mortem testing showed the cow had Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).

Overton County Extension Agent Jason Garrett said based on information from the state veterinarian, there is no reason for concern among cattlemen or consumers.

“USDA inspected plants are not going to slaughter anything to put out in the food chain that is like that,” Garret said. “Nothing that looks sick or can pose a risk.”

Garrett said atypical BSE does not transmit between cattle. He said the disease is not contagious to other animals or people.

Garrett said a cattleman is unlikely to see atypical BSE among his cattle. But he said the warnings signs include poor coordination, loss of body condition, and postural degeneration.

“That’s why the packaging plant noticed this one because it’s something they probably hadn’t seen in a while,” Garrett said.

Garrett said this type of BSE is very rare and in addition to being noncontagious, there is no treatment for the disease.

“There’s no treatment and there’s no test for it,” Garrett said. “The only way that you can tell an animal has that is post-mortem testing after the animal has been euthanized.”

Garrett said breeding lines are being traced to discover the possibility of other cattle that may have atypical BSE.  He said that since the disease can not spread there is no fear of exposure for other animals and people.



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