Scottish government identifies case of mad cow disease

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
Copyright David Cheskin
By Reuters with NBC News World News
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Authorities insist the case posed no risk to humans.

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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.

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