Suspected BSE Quarantines
Herd Of UK Dairy Cows

This Is Somerset - UK
A herd of dairy cattle from a farm near Cheddar has been quarantined after a suspected outbreak of BSE, more commonly known as mad cow disease.
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) imposed movement restrictions on the herd at 2 sites, Draycott and Rodney Stoke, after 2 cows which had been slaughtered showed possible signs of BSE. Further tests are now being carried out on the carcasses to establish whether or not the animals had the disease.
The outbreak was discovered after the cattle's owner, Bryan Churches, was banned from keeping cattle for 3 years after being convicted of causing pain and suffering to animals on his farm.
He was given 3 months to dispose of the cattle and it was while he was doing this that signs of BSE were discovered.
Mr Churches, who farms at Bridge Farm, in Draycott, and Yew Tree Farm, in Rodney Stoke, had 36 cattle which didn't have cattle passports. These are needed so the source and history of the cattle can be traced and because of this, the 36 animals were slaughtered.
A spokesman for Defra said: "We can confirm that in order to comply with a court order which prevents him from keeping livestock, that needs to be complied with by 23 Jan 2006, Mr Churches removed 36 unpassported cattle from his farms. These were slaughtered and tested for BSE. 2 animals showed possible signs of BSE. Further checks are required to check that these animals did in fact have the disease. Movement restrictions have now been applied to the remainder of the herd."
The cattle suspected of having BSE were born after a ban on the animal feed, thought to be the cause of the disease, was introduced in 1996. Despite the ban, at the moment, there are around 200 suspected cases of BSE in the UK.
But, according to Defra, one possible explanation of cases which have occurred since the ban was introduced is that the infection may have lingered in feed stores.
The causative agent of BSE -- a prion -- is extremely resistant to widely varying environmental, physical, and chemical conditions. Contaminated animal feed, such as concentrates including residues of meat and bone meal (MBM) or feed cross-contaminated by contact with such, maintains its infectivity for many years. If the suspected cases are confirmed, remnants of such feeds on the farm could be the background to the current born-after-ban (BAB) cases.
The number of recorded BSE cases in the UK is steadily decreasing: since 2000 throughout 2005 (Data as of 30 Sep 2005), OIE respective annual UK figures (totals) are the following: 1443, 1202, 1144, 611, 343, 151. - Mod.AS
Patricia A. Doyle, DVM, PhD- Bus Admin
Tropical Agricultural Economics
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