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Scottish mad cow case confirmed


The UK Foods Standards Agency (FSA) has been notified by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) that a single case of BSE has been confirmed in central Scotland in a six-year-old cow that was born into a herd which was later accepted into the Beef Assurance Scheme (BAS). The animal has not entered the food chain and therefore it poses no threat to food safety, the Food Standards Agency Scotland said on Wednesday.

The cow was born in April 1995 into a herd that became part of BAS in January 1997. It was sold to a non-BAS herd in November 1998. The Agency has requested full details of the cow's history and of its offspring and cattle that have been in the same herds. BAS allows meat from cattle up to 42 months to be sold for human consumption, rather than 30 months for all other cattle. The cattle are subject to stringent safeguards and regarded as having less risk of BSE than other cattle.

Dr George Paterson, Director of the Food Standards Agency Scotland, said, " We have requested assurances that all BAS herds comply fully with the requirements of the scheme. We want to be satisfied that controls are working, as well as get answers as to what happened in this case."

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