CM – Two atypical cases of mad cow disease discovered in Brazil

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September 5, 2021

Two atypical cases of mad cow disease were discovered in Brazil, which led to the cessation of beef exports to China, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Saturday.

This temporary step was taken under an existing bilateral protocol between the two countries, although the ministry stressed that there was « no risk to human or animal health ».

The two cases were « atypical » as the disease occurred « spontaneously and sporadically and regardless of the ingestion of contaminated food, » according to a statement from the ministry.

The two cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) were found in old cattle during health inspections in the states of Minas Gerais and Mato Grosso.

« Brazil has never registered a classic BSE case, » the ministry said that officially notified the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Brazil also temporarily stopped its cattle exports to China in June 2019 after an atypical BSE case was found in a 17-year-old cow in Mato Grosso.

Mad cow disease first emerged in the UK in the 1980s and spread to many countries in Europe and around the world, causing consumer concern and causing a serious crisis in the beef industry.

The disease became widespread with farmers feeding cattle the meat and bone meal from dead and infected animals.

And then people died after contracting the human variant, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, who were believed to be passed on through consumption of infected beef.

© 2021 AFP

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