BSE case in California

Futures market is back up some but went down the limit yesterday... evidently, a dairy cow in California was destroyed after exhibiting signs of BSE and the test results came back positive of some form of BSE.

They think it might be a spontaneous mutation ("atypical strain"). Expect cattle prices to tumble some, exports to be restricted, and for national news to show the same old footage of the same old stumbing cow.

I'd like a formal campaign to change the media name of this disease to "Mad Milk Cow Disease".
At least they caught the one this time before it was rendered. I worked for the rendering company that got the 2003 cow, and that was a mess. Had to landfill several silos worth of MBM, then had to "disinfect" the silos before they could be used again.

There has never been a proven case of any prion disease (scrapie, CJD, nvCJD, Mad Cow, CWD, etc.) jumping from one species to the other. There is only circumstantial evidence, i.e. Britain. MC shows up, then they start finding a rash of cases in humans. Never mind that they weren't looking for CJD/nvCJD in humans before, and once they started looking for it, they found it. And then once they found it, the case incidence was very low compared to the population. You're more likely to die playing golf than catch/develop CJD/nvCJD.

[This message has been edited by Log (edited 4/25/2012 1:44p).]
Thankfully, it happened in a dairy cow, as dairymen keep pretty extensive records of their stock. It will be much, much easier to trace it.
It's just a ChicFilA conspiracy, people!!!

There was a study done of the most likely avenues of BSE spreading in the US and it was a dairy cow.
The fictitious cow as sold at auction and then transported some number of states away and potentially infecting animals along the way.

Let's hope they get on top of it fast.
potentially infecting animals along the way

Then they didn't know what they were doing. BSE doesn't just spread from cow to cow through contact.
Then they didn't know what they were doing. BSE doesn't just spread from cow to cow through contact.

Incorrect. Although they don't know how it spreads, they think it spreads due to close contact/share of saliva through feeding/etc. They haven't been able to prove the transmission vector, but it very likely does spread through contact; however, it hasn't been proven 100% yet. Lots of circumstantial evidence points to it though. Same thing with CWD.

[This message has been edited by Log (edited 4/25/2012 1:44p).]
According to APHIS
From the linked site:
BSE is not contagious. The primary source of infection is feed contaminated with the infectious prion agent, such as meat-and-bone meal containing protein derived from rendered infected cattle. Regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have prohibited the inclusion of mammalian protein in feed for cattle and other ruminants since 1997 and have also prohibited high risk tissue materials in all animal feed since 2009.

Relative to CWD in elk/deer, I believe it has been shown to spread through contact.

Edit: Another source, the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) From the OIE:
How is the disease
transmitted and spread?

Scientists believe that the spread of this
disease in cattle is caused by feeding
rendered material from infected cattle
or sheep back to other cattle. The prion
is resistant to commercial inactivation
procedures such as heat, which means
that it may not be completely destroyed
in the rendering process.

[This message has been edited by Shorty (edited 4/25/2012 2:06p).]
Although they don't know how it spreads, they think it spreads due to close contact/share of saliva through feeding/etc.

Can you provide me with a link to support this statement? To the best of my knowledge that theory has been disproven in cattle.
BSE is considered non-contagious because they haven't proven that it is spread animal-to-animal. It very likely may spread animal-to-animal, but if the level of incidence in the population is low or non-existent, the likelihood of finding a case is very low.

I worked in the rendering industry for over 5 years, so I have followed the BSE thing closely.
Link to a reputable source supporting your theory? Lots of us have worked in and around the beef and rendering industries. That doesn't make us experts. I offered two links documenting that virtually no one in the scientific community believes BSE can be spread though animal-to-animal contact. I don't wish to have mis-information out there; so if there is an actual link to a source saying BSE can be spread through contact, I really want to see it. I can appreciate that you have followed the issue closely, just as a lot of us have.
I'm not saying that BSE can be spread through contact. I'm saying that they haven't proven that it is not spread through contact.

The scientists believe the know how it works, but there's a lot they don't know. And if it is like some of the other prion-based diseases, there is a very good possibility that it may be spread through contact.


First, we are obviously on the same side of the whole BSE issue even if we may not be in total agreement on some details. What is your opinion on what actions the govt should take now with regards to the herd from which the CA cow orgiginated? Should we de-populate the herd in an abundance of caution to make absolutely certain that there is no danger of further spread?
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