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Written Statement - Isolated case of Classical Bovine spongiform encephalopathy detected in deceased bovine

Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food

The Welsh Government and the Animal and Plant Health Agency have confirmed a case of classical BSE in a single deceased bovine on a farm in Wales.

The case was identified as a result of the strict control measures we have in place. It did not enter the human food chain and the Food Standards Agency and Public Health Wales have confirmed there is no risk to human health as a result of this isolated case.

There have been a number of sporadic cases of BSE identified across the UK in recent years. The last case recorded in Wales was in 2013.

My officials are working closely with DEFRA and the APHA to investigate the circumstances of this case.

All animals over four years of age that die on a farm are routinely tested for the disease under our comprehensive surveillance system. Whilst the disease is not directly transmitted from animal to animal, its cohorts, including offspring, have been traced and isolated, and will be destroyed in line with EU requirements.

In addition to the measures we have in place for fallen stock and animal feed, there is a strict control regime to protect consumers. This includes the removal of ‘specified risk material’ such as the spinal column, brain and skull from carcasses.

Identification of this case demonstrates that the controls we have in place are working well. Beef across the UK continues to be produced in compliance with the World Organisation for Animal Health rules.