- BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian farm authorities announced Tuesday the discovery
of a second case of mad cow disease and the destruction of a 48-strong
herd of cattle in the northwest of the country.
- Government veterinarians examined the
5-year-old cow on Feb. 20, confirming BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy)
or mad cow disease earlier Tuesday. The European Commission and other EU
members had been informed, the farm ministry said.
- ``The animal has been completely incinerated
... there is no chance of it having entered the human or animal food chain,''
Belgian Agriculture Minister Karel Pinxten told journalists. The cow belonged
to a milking farm in the town of Ruddervoorde in western Flanders, its
mother was born on the same farm in 1989. All the cattle on the farm, some
48 animals, have been destroyed, and the brains of those aged over two
years taken for analysis, the ministry added.
- Belgium's first case of mad cow disease
came to light in late October 1997. That animal was from a small firm in
the southern province of Namur.
- Mad cow disease has resulted in the slaughter
of thousands of cattle both in Britain and abroad. The crisis prompted
the European Union to impose a beef export ban on Britain in March 1996,
which is still in force.
- The ban was imposed after scientists
identified a new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a deadly human brain-wasting
disorder, which they said could be contracted by eating beef infected with