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From: TSS ()
Date: March 21, 2006 at 10:31 am PST

In Reply to: Re: CENSORS TSS ON BSE AKA MAD COW posted by TSS on March 21, 2006 at 10:30 am:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2006 3:33 PM
Subject: BSE UPDATE ALABAMA March 17, 2006

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Sun Mar 19, 2006 15:29


MONTGOMERY - Alabama Agriculture & Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks, State
Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier, and Dr. Ken Angel with the USDA held a press
conference today to answer questions about yesterday's exhumation of the
remains of the cow that tested positive for BSE.

Federal and state agriculture workers excavated the remains of the animal,
which had been buried on the farm and did not enter the animal or human food
chain, in accordance with USDA protocols. The carcass was that of a red
crossbred beef type cow. An examination of the cow's teeth confirmed that
the animal was at least 10 years of age. Samples were taken of the animal
and the remaining carcass was transported to one of the department's
diagnostic labs for proper disposal. State and Federal staff are continuing
the traceback to determine the herd of origin.

One calf was identified by the owner as belonging to the red cow. The calf
is approximately 6 weeks old and appeared to be a healthy animal. The calf
was transported to a USDA lab where DNA from the calf will be compared to
that of the red cow to confirm relation. If confirmed, this would be the
first offspring of a BSE diagnosed cow in the United States. Officials today
learned that in early 2005 the BSE-positive cow gave birth to another black
bull calf. This animal is in the process of being traced.

The cow was first examined by a local veterinarian in late February 2006.
After the animal failed to respond to medical attention, it was humanely
euthanized. The cattle producer buried the cow at the farm because Alabama
Department of Agriculture & Industries regulations require burial of
livestock within 24 hours. The producer did not suspect that the cow had
BSE. The local veterinarian sent samples of the cow to the Alabama
Department of Agriculture & Industries lab
system, which was then forwarded to the USDA lab in Athens, GA as part of
the routine voluntary surveillance program for BSE testing. After the rapid
test for BSE gave an inconclusive result, the samples were sent to Ames,
Iowa for a Western Blot test, which gave a positive result. A third test,
the immunohistochemistry (IHC) test, was performed this week and also
returned positive results for BSE.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and the USDA have been
encouraging participation in Premises ID Registration as an important step
in controlling animal disease. Since starting the program in 2005, over
2,000 premises have been registered in Alabama. For more information on
Premises ID Registration call 334-240-7253


39. Professor John Wilesmith (Defra) updated the committee on the

BSE cases born after the 1996 reinforced mammalian meat and

bone meal ban in the UK (BARB cases). Around 116 BARB cases

had been identified in Great Britain up to 22 November 2005,

mostly through active surveillance. BARB cases had decreased in

successive birth cohorts, from 44 in the 1996/1997 cohort to none

to date in the 2000/2001 cohort. However, 3 BARB cases had

been identified in the 2001/2002 cohort. Backcalculation of the

prevalence of BARB cases indicated a drop from 130 infected

animals per million (95% confidence interval 90-190) in the

1996/1997 cohort to 30 infected animals per million (95%

confidence interval 10-60) in the 1999/2000 cohort. A shift in the

geographical distribution of BSE cases, from the concentration of

pre-1996 BSE cases in Eastern England to a more uniform


© SEAC 2005

distribution of BARB cases, had occurred. However, it appeared

that certain post-1996 cohorts had a higher exposure to BSE in

certain areas for limited periods. Several clusters of BARB cases

within herds had been identified (5 pairs, 2 triplets and 1


40. A triplet of BARB cases in South West Wales had been

investigated in detail. The triplet comprised 2 cases born in

September and October 2001 and a third in May 2002. The

animals born in 2001 were reared outdoors from the spring of 2002

but the animal born in 2002 had been reared indoors. Further

investigation of feeding practices revealed that a new feed bin for

the adult dairy herd had been installed in September 1998. In July

2002 the feed bin was emptied, but not cleaned, and relocated. All

3 BARB cases received feed from the relocated bin. This finding

suggested the hypothesis that the feed bin installed in September

1998 was filled initially with contaminated feed, that remnants of

this feed fell to the bottom of the bin during its relocation, and thus

young animals in the 2001/2002 birth cohort were exposed to

feedstuffs produced in 1998. No adult cattle had been infected

because of the reduced susceptibility to BSE with increasing age.

41. Further investigation of multiple case herds had found no

association of BARB clusters with the closure of feed mills.

42. Professor Wilesmith concluded that there is evidence of a decline

in risk of infection for successive birth cohorts of cattle. The BARB

epidemic is unlikely to be sustained by animals born after 31 July

2000. Feed bins could represent a continued source of occasional

infection and advice to farmers is being formulated to reduce this

risk. There is no evidence for an indigenous source of infection for

the BARB cases.

43. Members considered it encouraging that no other factor, apart from

feed contamination, had been identified as a possible cause of

BARB cases to date. Members commented that this study

suggests that only a small amount of contaminated feed may be

required for infection and that BSE infectivity can survive in the

environment for several years. Professor Wilesmith agreed and

noted that infection caused by small doses of infectious material

was consistent with other studies, and it would appear there is little

dilution of infectivity, if present, in the rendering system.

Additionally it appeared that the infectious agent had survived for 4

years in the feed bin.

44. The Chair thanked Professor Wilesmith for his presentation.




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