Holstein with mad cow disease was lame, lying down

The cow that was recently discovered with mad cow disease through routine testing in California had been euthanized after it became lame and started lying down at a dairy, federal officials revealed Thursday.

Tagged cattle are gathered at Larson Farms/Midwest Feeders, one of the largest ranches in Illinois, Wednesday, April 25, 2012, in Maple Park, Ill. Owner Mike Martz, who raises 6,000 cattle a year, says the USDA system is working and that the discovery of mad cow disease in a lone cow in California is a prime example. (AP Photo/Charles Osgood)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The cow that was recently discovered with mad cow disease through routine testing in California had been euthanized after it became lame and started lying down at a dairy, federal officials revealed Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also said the cow was 10 years and seven months old in its update on the fourth case of mad cow disease ever discovered in the U.S.

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes of California had said Wednesday that the sick cow was 5 years old. It came from a dairy farm in Tulare County, the nation's No. 1 dairy-producing county.

The USDA didn't elaborate on the cow's symptoms other than to say it was "humanely euthanized after it developed lameness and became recumbent." Outward symptoms of the disease can include unsteadiness and incoordination.

Routine testing at a transfer facility showed the dead Holstein, which was destined for a rendering plant, had mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The results were announced Tuesday.

Animals at greater risk for the disease include those with symptoms of neurological disease, "downer" animals at slaughterhouses, animals that die at dairies or cattle ranches for unknown reasons, and cows more than 2 1/2 years old, because BSE occurs in older cows.

U.S. health officials say there is no risk to the food supply. The California cow was never destined for the meat market, and it developed "atypical" BSE from a random mutation, something that scientists know happens occasionally. Somehow, a protein the body normally harbors folds into an abnormal shape called a prion, setting off a chain reaction of misfolds that eventually kills brain cells.

In other countries, BSE's spread through herds was blamed on making cattle feed using recycled meat and bone meal from infected cows, so the U.S. has long banned feed containing such material.

The last two cases found in the U.S. were atypical as well.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 149197125 - local8now.com/a?a=149197125