Officials Clear Texas Herd of BSE
After one positive test result for mad cow disease, the National Veterinary Service Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, tested 67 cows from the same Texas herd and found all subjects to be BSE free.
The cow in question was a 12-year-old Brahma cross beef cow who arrived dead at the slaughterhouse four days after sale. The cow had spent its entire life at one unnamed Texas ranch before being sold into the livestock market.
Fortunately, the animal did not reach the food supply before having its brain tissue examined by officials. After two conflicting tests on the tissue, one positive and one negative for BES, a third test was ordered and then confirmed positive by a British laboratory. This was the second identified case of mad cow disease in the United States.
Officials are breathing a sigh of relief as 67 of the infected cow’s herd mates came back with negative test results. Investigators are now trying to locate offspring and herd mates born in the same year.
The first case of mad cow disease came from an infected Washington cow that turned out to be a Canadian import. Canadian cattle imports had already been banned by US authorities for nearly a year after another cow had turned up positive.
US Treasury Secretary John Snow expects that ban to end soon. Both Canada and the US agree that enough safeguards have been implemented to reopen trade, pending the overturn of a lower court ruling that is delaying the process.