April 24, 2012: The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the detection of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in a dairy cow from central California, marking the nation's fourth case of BSE. The cow was never presented for slaughter for human consumption. The animal carcass is being held under state authority at a rendering facility in California and will be destroyed. At no time did the infected cow present a risk to the food supply or human health.
Scientific research indicates that BSE cannot be transmitted in cow's milk, even if the milk comes from a cow with BSE. Milk and milk products are considered safe.
In its press release, USDA stressed that strong interlocking safeguards protect human and animal health, as well as food safety, in the United States. These safeguards include the removal of specified risk materials, which are the tissues that may contain the BSE agent in an infected animal, from the food chain.
BSE is a fatal neurological disease among cattle. It belongs to a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.
More information on BSE and the dairy sector can also be found at:
For additional information about BSE, frequently asked questions, and the formal press release about today’s detection from the USDA, click here.