More cattle to be destroyed on Scottish BSE farm as a precaution

A number of other cattle are set to be destroyed as a precautionary measure on the farm in Scotland where BSE was recently discovered.

The Scottish Government’s chief veterinary officer, Sheila Voas, confirmed the news as she spoke earlier this morning (Friday, October 19) on BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme.

It emerged yesterday that BSE had been discovered in a cow on a farm near the town of Huntly in Aberdeenshire. It is the first case to be detected in Scotland since 2008.

It has been described as an “isolated case” and the Scottish Government has also put precautionary movement restrictions in place on the unnamed farm.

Commenting on the matter, Voas said: “The animal itself is dead. She died before she was tested and there are three other animals, possibly four, on the farm that will need to be slaughtered – purely on a precautionary basis.

We will slaughter them, take brain stem samples and check them.

It is believed that the animals that have to be slaughtered as a precaution are offspring of the five-year-old cow that tested positive for BSE.

Voas expects that this case occurred spontaneously, but explained that investigations will continue to be carried out.

The classical BSE case was detected through routine control checks carried out on fallen animals over four years old – of which about 20,000 samples are tested each year in Scotland.

The animal did not enter the food chain, so the public has been assured that there is no risk to human health.

Concluding, Voas said: “All the information that we have is that this is under control. There is no reason for people to panic, it’s not the start of an outbreak – it’s a single isolated case that won’t affect the food chain.”