Holstein with mad cow disease was lame, lying down

Tagged cattle are gathered at Larson Farms/Midwest Feeders, one of the largest ranches in Illinois, Wednesday, April 25, 2012, in Maple Park, Ill. Owner Mike Martz, who raises 6,000 cattle a year, says the USDA system is working and that the discovery of mad cow disease in a lone cow in California is a prime example. (AP Photo/Charles Osgood)

(AP) -- The cow that was recently discovered with mad cow disease through routine testing in California had been euthanized after it became lame and started lying down at a dairy, federal officials revealed Thursday.

The U.S. also said the cow was 10 years and seven months old in its update on the fourth case of mad cow disease ever discovered in the U.S.

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes of California had said Wednesday that the sick cow was 5 years old. It came from a dairy farm in Tulare County, the nation's No. 1 dairy-producing county.

The USDA didn't elaborate on the cow's symptoms other than to say it was "humanely euthanized after it developed lameness and became recumbent." Outward symptoms of the disease can include unsteadiness and incoordination.

Routine testing at a transfer facility showed the dead Holstein, which was destined for a rendering plant, had , or . The results were announced Tuesday.

Animals at greater risk for the disease include those with symptoms of neurological disease, "downer" animals at slaughterhouses, animals that die at dairies or cattle ranches for unknown reasons, and cows more than 2 1/2 years old, because BSE occurs in older cows.

U.S. health officials say there is no risk to the food supply. The California cow was never destined for the meat market, and it developed "atypical" BSE from a , something that scientists know happens occasionally. Somehow, a protein the body normally harbors folds into an abnormal shape called a prion, setting off a chain reaction of misfolds that eventually kills .

In other countries, BSE's spread through herds was blamed on making cattle feed using recycled meat and bone meal from infected cows, so the U.S. has long banned feed containing such material.

The last two cases found in the U.S. were atypical as well.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Of food supply risks, mad cow's not high on list

Apr 26, 2012

(AP) -- If the mad cow found in California has you wondering about food safety, well, there are plenty of problems that pose serious risks to the food supply. But mad cow disease shouldn't be high on the ...

US animal feed, beef safe from mad cow: FDA

Apr 26, 2012

US food safety authorities on Thursday called a new case of mad cow disease in California "atypical" and said they were confident in measures to prevent the disease from spreading via animal feed.

Recommended for you

Nigeria death shows Ebola can spread by air travel

12 hours ago

(AP)—Nigerian health authorities raced to stop the spread of Ebola on Saturday after a man sick with one of the world's deadliest diseases brought it by plane to Lagos, Africa's largest city with 21 million ...

Trial in salmonella outbreak to start in Georgia

12 hours ago

(AP)—Three people accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people and sickened more than 700 are set to go to trial this week in Georgia.

Remote tribe members enter another village, catch flu

20 hours ago

Advocates for indigenous tribes are worried over incidents last month when some members of one of the last uncontacted tribes in the Peru/Brazil region, across borders, left their home in Peru and entered ...

Nigeria on red alert after first Ebola death

Jul 26, 2014

Nigeria was on alert against the possible spread of Ebola on Saturday, a day after the first confirmed death from the virus in Lagos, Africa's biggest city and the country's financial capital.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

alfie_null
not rated yet Apr 28, 2012
How is this "atypical" determination made? Is there some test that show its difference from "regular" BSE? Or is it just after eliminating all other possible sources? If it is different, are there differences in transmissibility? If, for instance, it's not transmissible, then this whole BSE discovery event isn't really much of a story.