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Brazil confirms second case of atypical mad cow disease

Published on May 11, 2014 6:39 AM
Cattle walk up a ramp into a cargo ship for export, at Vila do Conde port in Barcarena, Para state, near the mouth of the Amazon river, on Oct 9, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SAO PAULO (REUTERS) – Brazil has confirmed a second case of atypical mad cow disease, a year after several countries banned Brazilian beef imports when a similar case of the disease was confirmed.

The agriculture ministry said late Friday that a lab in Weybridge, England approved by the World Animal Health Organization confirmed it was a spontaneous case of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, with no link to contaminated feed.

The 12-year-old cow found dead in March in a slaughterhouse in Mato Grosso state was born and never left the same farm where cattle are fed by pasture grazing and mineral salts, and not feed, according to a ministry statement.

Classical cases of mad cow are caused when cattle are fed brain or spinal tissue of other ruminants, which is now forbidden in nearly all beef producing countries, including Brazil. In atypical cases, the animal contracted the protein spontaneously, rather than through the feed supply.

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