Defra reveals 2005 BSE case

Defra has revealed that during routine research carried out by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), test results have revealed a single case of H-type Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in the UK in 2005.

This form of BSE, it said, has already been identified in several other European countries in addition to Japan, Canada and the USA.

The cow died on a farm in Dumfries and Galloway at 13 years of age. The carcase was sampled and tested for BSE in accordance with EU requirements for testing all fallen stock aged over 24 months.

Test results confirmed the presence of BSE. The carcase was incinerated and the offspring from this cow were culled in line with current BSE regulations, added Defra.

In August 2006, the VLA began a retrospective examination of brain samples taken from previous BSE cases, as part of a research programme designed to analyse different types of BSE in the national herd. The aim of the study is to determine whether unusual cases of BSE had, in fact, occurred in the UK in the past.

The Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) will examine all the available data on this case during a discussion of different forms of BSE worldwide at its next meeting on 10 May 2007.