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From: TSS ()
Subject: USDA STATEMENT Regarding the Conclusion of the Epidemiological Investigation Into BSE POSITIVE IN ALABAMA
Date: May 3, 2006 at 7:13 am PST

May 2, 2006 - Sparks Announces Conclusion of Epi Investigation of BSE Positive Cow
MONTGOMERY – Commissioner Ron Sparks has announced that the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have completed their epidemiological investigation regarding a cow that tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Alabama in March.

May 2, 2006 - Sparks Announces Conclusion of Epi Investigation of BSE Positive Cow
May 2, 2006 - Sparks Announces Conclusion of Epi Investigation of BSE Positive Cow

The results indicate that the positive animal, called the index animal, was a red crossbreed. This animal was non-ambulatory on the farm, known as the index farm, and examined by a local, private veterinarian. The veterinarian returned to the farm the following day, euthanized the animal and collected a sample, which was submitted for BSE testing. The animal was buried on the farm at that time and did not enter the animal or human food chain, in accordance with APHIS protocols.

Alabama officials and APHIS excavated the index animal’s carcass and through dentition, an examination of its teeth, determined the animal to be more than 10 years old. It was born prior to the implementation of FDA’s 1997 feed ban that minimizes the risk that a cow might consume feed contaminated with the agent thought to cause BSE.

Alabama state officials and APHIS investigated 36 farms and 5 auction houses and conducted DNA testing on herds that may have included relatives of the index animal. State investigators and APHIS were unable to find any related animals except for the two most recent calves of the index animal. The most recent calf was located at the same farm as the index animal and the second calf died the year before. No other animals of interest were located. The living calf of the BSE-positive animal is currently being held at APHIS’ National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for observation.

The state and federal joint investigation did not reveal the BSE-positive animal’s herd of origin. However, this was not entirely unexpected due to the age of the animal, along with its lack of identifying brands, tattoos and tags. Experience worldwide has shown that it is highly unusual to find BSE in more than one animal in a herd or in an affected animal’s offspring.

To ensure that adequate feed controls were in place in the feed facilities in the immediate geographic area of the index farm, FDA conducted a feed investigation into local feed mills that may have supplied feed to the index animal after the 1997 feed ban. This investigation found that all local feed mills that handle prohibited materials have been and continue to be in compliance with the FDA’s feed ban.

As part of APHIS’ BSE enhanced surveillance program, more than 700,000 samples have been tested since June 2004. To date, only two of these highest risk animals has tested positive for the disease as part of the surveillance program, for a total of three cases of BSE in the United States. While APHIS’ epidemiological investigation did not locate additional animals of interest, it is important to remember that human and animal health in the United States is protected by a system of interlocking safeguards, which ensure the safety of U.S. beef. The most important of these safeguards is the ban on specified risk materials from the food supply and the FDA's 1997 feed ban.

NOTE: For more information on USDA’s epidemiological investigation and a copy of the report, please visit the APHIS website at www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/bse.shtml.

Federal Contacts:
Jim Rogers, USDA 202-690-4755
Rae Jones, FDA 301-827-6242


http://www.agi.state.al.us/press_releases/may-2-2006---sparks-announces-conclusion-of-epi-investigation-of-bse-positive-cow?pn=2

Jim Rogers, USDA 202-690-4755
Rae Jones, FDA 301-827- 6242
Christy Rhodes, Alabama 334-240-7103

Statement by USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford Regarding the Conclusion of the Epidemiological Investigation Into a Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)-Positive Cow Found in Alabama
May 2, 2006

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have completed their investigations regarding a cow that tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Alabama in March. Both agencies conducted their investigations in collaboration with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

“Our results indicate that the positive animal, called the index animal, was a red crossbreed. This animal was non-ambulatory on the farm, known as the index farm, and examined by a local, private veterinarian. The veterinarian returned to the farm the following day, euthanized the animal and collected a sample, which was submitted for BSE testing. The animal was buried on the farm at that time and did not enter the animal or human food chain, in accordance with APHIS protocols.

“APHIS and Alabama officials excavated the index animal’s carcass and through dentition, an examination of its teeth, determined the animal to be more than 10 years old. It was born prior to the implementation of FDA’s 1997 feed ban that minimizes the risk that a cow might consume feed contaminated with the agent thought to cause BSE.

“APHIS and Alabama State officials investigated 36 farms and 5 auction houses and conducted DNA testing on herds that may have included relatives of the index animal. APHIS and State investigators were unable to find any related animals except for the two most recent calves of the index animal. The most recent calf was located at the same farm as the index animal and the second calf died the year before. No other animals of interest were located. The living calf of the BSE-positive animal is currently being held at APHIS’ National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for observation.

“APHIS’ investigation did not reveal the BSE-positive animal’s herd of origin. However, this was not entirely unexpected due to the age of the animal, along with its lack of identifying brands, tattoos and tags. Experience worldwide has shown that it is highly unusual to find BSE in more than one animal in a herd or in an affected animal’s offspring.

“To ensure that adequate feed controls were in place in the feed facilities in the immediate geographic area of the index farm, FDA conducted a feed investigation into local feed mills that may have supplied feed to the index animal after the 1997 feed ban. This investigation found that all local feed mills that handle prohibited materials have been and continue to be in compliance with the FDA’s feed ban.

“As part of APHIS’ BSE enhanced surveillance program, more than 700,000 samples have been tested since June 2004. To date, only two of these highest risk animals has tested positive for the disease as part of the surveillance program, for a total of three cases of BSE in the United States. While APHIS’ epidemiological investigation did not locate additional animals of interest, it is important to remember that human and animal health in the United States is protected by a system of interlocking safeguards, which ensure the safety of U.S. beef. The most important of these safeguards is the ban on specified risk materials from the food supply and the FDA's 1997 feed ban. ”

#

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/content/2006/05/alepi.shtml

Alabama BSE Investigation

Final Epidemiology Report

May 2, 2006

snip...

Summary:

Despite a thorough investigation of two farms that were known to contain the index cow,

and 35 other farms that might have supplied the index cow to the farms where the index

case was known to have resided, the investigators were unable to locate the herd of

origin. The index case did not have unique or permanent identification, plus, the size and

color of the cow being traced is very common in the Southern United States. Due to the

unremarkable appearance of solid red cows, it is not easy for owners to remember

individual animals. In the Southern United States, it is common business practice to buy

breeding age cows and keep them for several years while they produce calves. Most

calves produced are sold the year they are born, whereas breeding cows are sold when

there is a lapse in breeding, which can occur multiple times in cows’ lives. For all of

these reasons, USDA was unable to locate the herd of origin.

snip...

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/bse/content/printable_version/EPI_Final.pdf

Meanwhile, back at the ranch with larry, curly, and mo at USDA ET AL ON BSE ALABAMA STYLE


http://www.prwatch.org/node/4624
http://disc2.server.com/discussion.cgi?disc=167318;article=2763;title=CJD%20WATCH

TSS




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