- WARSAW, Poland - Tests have
confirmed the first case of mad cow disease in Poland, the country's chief
veterinarian said Saturday.
Piotr Kolodziej said meat from the nine-year-old cow was barred from the
market after tests by veterinarians in Krakow and Pulawy confirmed bovine
"Consumers are safe," Kolodziej told Private Radio Zet. "
We test all animals over 30 months of age."
Veterinary services across the country have been put on alert, the Agriculture
The affected cow came from a private farm in Ciezkowice county, near Tarnow,
some 300 kilometers (186 miles) southeast of Warsaw, and officials are
investigating its origins, said Marek Jakubiak, the veterinarian who took
the meat samples sent for testing.
The animal was slaughtered May 1. The slaughterhouse has been disinfected
and was to resume work later Saturday, said Krzysztof Ankiewicz, the chief
veterinarian for the southern Krakow region.
The news is a blow to efforts by officials to stop the disease reaching
Poland. Authorities here have banned beef and related products from other
countries where the disease has been discovered.
The European Commission is not planning a ban on Polish beef imports as
long as Poland follows European Union rules for preventing mad cow disease,
said Beate Gminder, a spokeswoman for EU Consumer Protection Commissioner
David Byrne in Brussels.
Mad cow disease was first diagnosed in Britain in the 1980s. It is believed
to lead to the fatal human variant, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which has
killed more than 100 people in Britain and elsewhere in Europe.
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