“Minimal risk” associated with isolated BSE case on Scottish farm

“Minimal risk” associated with isolated BSE case on Scottish farm

A farm in Ayrshire has confirmed a case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), with the Scottish Government confirming that the animal did not enter the human food chain.

The Scottish Government confirmed that the infected animal had not entered the food chain.

The case was identified as a result of routine surveillance and stringent control measures, and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has confirmed that there is no risk to human health as a result of this isolated case.

The Scottish Government said the owners of the affected animals are working with authorities on next steps, and that further investigations to identify the origin of the disease are ongoing.

Minister for Agriculture and Connectivity Jim Fairlie said: “Following confirmation of a case of classical BSE in Ayrshire, the Scottish Government and other agencies took swift and robust action to protect the agriculture sector. This included establishing a precautionary movement ban on the farm.

“The fact we identified this isolated case so quickly is proof that our surveillance system for detecting this type of disease is working effectively.

“I want to thank the animal’s owner for their diligence. Their decisive action has allowed us to identify and isolate the case at speed which has minimised its impact on the wider industry.”

Proof that surveillance systems work

Movement restrictions have also been put in place at three further farms – the farm of the animal’s origin and two more holdings where animals have had access to the same feed are.

Chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas said: “The fast detection of this case is proof that our surveillance system is doing its job.

“We are working closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency, and other partners to identify where the disease came from.

“I want to reassure both farmers and the public that the risk associated with this isolated case is minimal. But, if any farmers are concerned, I would urge them to seek veterinary advice.”

Ian McWatt, deputy chief executive of FSS said: “There are strict controls in place to protect consumers from the risk of BSE, including controls on animal feed and removal of the parts of cattle most likely to carry BSE infectivity.

“Consumers can be reassured that these important protection measures remain in place and that Food Standards Scotland Official Veterinarians and Meat Hygiene Inspectors working in all abattoirs in Scotland will continue to ensure that in respect of BSE controls, the safety of consumers remains a priority.

“We will continue to work closely with Scottish Government, other agencies and industry at this time.”

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