Spain detects atypical mad cow disease, WOAH says

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Spain has reported atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a dead cow in the northwestern region of Galicia, the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) said on Friday.

The disease, commonly called mad cow disease, was detected after the 22-year-old cow was euthanized due to signs of illness not related to BSE, Paris-based WOAH said, citing information from the Spanish authorities.

The case, which was isolated, “didn't enter the food chain and so didn’t represent any risk for public health or require any preventive health measure,” the Galicia’s regional health service said on its website.

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A mad cow disease case, also of the old age variant, was found in the Netherlands last week.

Atypical case of mad cow disease occurs sporadically and spontaneously in older cows, while the other variant, the classic and dreaded type of infection, is usually caused by contaminated animal feed.

Widespread cases of mad cow disease hit cattle herds in Britain and other European countries in the 1990s. Atypical cases have occasionally been detected and can lead to temporary trade restrictions.

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