BSE case, will cull around 200 cows
Mar 27, 2009 9:51am EDT
PRAGUE, March 27 (Reuters) - Czech state veterinarians said on Friday they
had found a new case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a cow in
the north of the country and they would cull around 200 related cattle.
It was the first case of the so-called "mad cow" disease in the
central European state since two emerged in 2007.
"It was a 66 month-old cow... that was slaughtered in a slaughterhouse
so it had no visible clinical symptoms. It was found during a regular
check," said Josef Duben, spokesman of the State Veterinary Office.
Duben said the cow had been born on the farm in the village of Roprachtice,
120 kilometres (75 miles) north-east of Prague, close to the border with
"They are now looking for related cows that need to be checked. This
means some 200 cattle would need to be slaughtered," Duben said.
He said the meat will be destroyed and there was no health threat to the
"We cannot rule out more cases but they have been very sporadic in the
past," Duben said.
The office believed the cow got the disease from infected feed, but Duben
said it would be hard to track because the infection happened more than five
Mad cow disease is believed to be spread when cattle eat protein rendered
from the brains and spines of infected cattle or sheep. The human form of
BSE, known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, is believed to be caused by
eating meat from infected animals.
The Czech Republic, a net importer of beef last year, is listed as a
controlled BSE risk country by the World Organisation for Animal Health,
alongside neighbouring countries like Germany, Poland and Slovakia.
(Reporting by Martin Dokoupil)