Scottish government identifies case of mad cow disease

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By Reuters  with NBC News World News
Image: Cows look out of a pen on a farm in the Scottish Borders
Cows look out of a pen on a farm in the Scottish Borders, United Kingdom.   -   Copyright  David Cheskin

LONDON — Scotland's government said on Thursday that a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, had been discovered on a farm in Aberdeenshire.

A quarantine area has been put in place around the farm while inspectors try to identify the origin of the disease.

The government said the case posed no harm to humans.

"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," Scotland's farming minister Fergus Ewing said in a statement.

BSE was first detected in Britain in the late 1980s, spreading from there to other parts of Europe and ravaging cattle herds until the early 2000s. It has been linked to the brain-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.