BSE Confirmed in Brazil

The World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE, confirmed in early May a case of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a 12-year-old cow in Brazil after suspicions of neurological problems arose upon its arrival at a slaughterhouse in the state of Mato Grosso in mid-April. Emergency slaughter was issued and no products from the animal entered the food chain. This is the second atypical case found in Brazil, the first being in late 2012, two years after the animal died.

According to an OIE report, “The animal was born and raised in the same full-cycle beef farm on extensive grazing. Meat and other products from this animal did not enter the food chain and there was no risk for human population.

“Tracing back animal movements since 2000, it was established that some animals from the birth cohort of this animal had been moved to 10 other properties in three municipalities in the state of Mato Grosso,” OIE went on to state. “During the epidemiological investigation, 49 animals from the cohort, which did not show clinical signs of the disease, were destroyed.” Nervous tissue samples from the cohort animals tested negative at the National Agricultural Laboratory.

Reports state that the animal in this latest case was fed by pasture grazing and mineral salts, and not feed. According to Brazil’s Agriculture Minstry, the animal was incinerated and no parts entered the feed chain.

The BSE incident comes shortly after the comment period closed on the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service proposal to allow fresh beef imports from 14 Brazilian states, including Mato Grosso. Agricultural groups such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Farmers Union have submitted comments opposing the rule due to potential risk of foot and mouth disease being brought into the United States.

June 2014 RENDER | back