BSE 'Mad Cow Disease' Found On Aberdeenshire Farm

"Its detection is proof that our surveillance system is doing its job."
igorsm8 via Getty Images

A case of BSE, a disease which affects cattle, has been found on a farm in Aberdeenshire.

The Scottish Government said precautionary movement restrictions have been put in place at the farm, while further investigations to identify the origin of the disease take place.

A spokesman said it was standard procedure for a confirmed case of classical BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy).

Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said: “While it is too early to tell where the disease came from in this case, its detection is proof that our surveillance system is doing its job.”

“We are working closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency to answer this question, and in the meantime, I would urge any farmer who has concerns to immediately seek veterinary advice.”

Millions of cattle were culled in the UK in the 1990s during a BSE epidemic.

It can be passed on to humans in the food chain, causing a fatal condition called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).

Strict controls were introduced to protect consumers after the link was established in 1996. The disease has been reduced to a handful of cases each year in the UK, with the last recorded case in Wales in 2015.

Scotland has been BSE free since 2009.

Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary, said: “Following confirmation of a case of classical BSE in Aberdeenshire, I have activated the Scottish Government’s response plan to protect our valuable farming industry, including establishing a precautionary movement ban being placed on the farm.

“While it is important to stress that this is standard procedure until we have a clear understanding of the diseases origin, this is further proof that our surveillance system for detecting this type of disease is working.”

Millions of cattle were culled in the UK in the 1990s due to BSE.