SAO PAULO May 10 Brazil has confirmed a second
case of atypical mad cow disease, a year after several countries
banned Brazilian beef imports when a similar case of the disease
The agriculture ministry said late Friday that a lab in
Weybridge, England approved by the World Animal Health
Organization confirmed it was a spontaneous case of atypical
bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, with
no link to contaminated feed.
The 12-year-old cow found dead in March in a slaughterhouse
in Mato Grosso state was born and never left the same farm where
cattle are fed by pasture grazing and mineral salts, and not
feed, according to a ministry statement.
Classical cases of mad cow are caused when cattle are fed
brain or spinal tissue of other ruminants, which is now
forbidden in nearly all beef producing countries, including
Brazil. In atypical cases, the animal contracted the protein
spontaneously, rather than through the feed supply.
The ministry said the diseased animal was incinerated and
none of its parts entered the feed chain.
In late 2012 tests showed that a cow that died two years
earlier in Parana state had developed the protein that causes
mad cow disease, though the animal never developed the disease
and died of natural causes.
The World Animal Health Organization maintained Brazil's
status as a country with an insignificant risk of BSE after it
confirmed the atypical Parana case in tests carried out in
England in 2012.
Even so, several countries including South Korea, China and
Egypt banned some or all beef imports from Brazil, the world's
Humans can develop what is known as variant
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from consuming animals with mad cow,
and more than 150 people have died from it. Mad cow was first
discovered in Britain in 1986, but strict controls have tempered
(Reporting by Fabiola Gomes; Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing
by Marguerita Choy)