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A cow in Alabama has tested positive for mad cow disease

Posted by Tara Burner 0 comments

WASHINGTON – A cow in Alabama has tested positive for mad cow disease, the Agriculture Department confirmed Monday, the third case in the U.S.

The animal was a beef cow but hadn’t entered the food supply for people or animals, said the department’s chief veterinarian, John Clifford.

A routine test last week had indicated the presence of the disease. Results were confirmed by more detailed testing at a government laboratory in Ames, Iowa, Clifford said.

U.S. investigators have found two previous cases of mad cow disease. The first was in December 2003 in a Canadian-born cow in Washington state. The second was last June in a cow that was born and raised in Texas.

The cow spent the past year at an Alabama farm, he said. The department is investigating where the animal was born and raised.

The animal appears to have been at least 10 years old, Clifford said.

Different types of tests indicated the presence of mad cow disease. Two versions of the initial “rapid” screening test suggested the cow had the disease, and a more detailed Western blot confirmed that finding. The department is still doing a third type of test, immunohistochemistry, or IHC, and will release those results later in the week.

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