Belgium Finds Second Mad
Cow Case - Destroys Herd

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 BSE.

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