July 18 (UPI) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday announced it discovered an “atypical” case of so-called mad cow disease in a cow in Alabama.
The 11-year-old animal showed symptoms of the disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, during routine surveillance of a livestock market.
“This animal never entered slaughter channels and at no time presented a risk to the food supply, or to human health in the United States,” the USDA said in a statement.
Atypical BSE is different from the classical form of the disease, which can cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Atypical mad cow disease usually occurs in cattle older than 8 years of age and seems to arise rarely and spontaneously in all cattle populations.
This marks the fifth case of BSE in the United States this year. The first case was classical in a cow imported from Canada; the others have been atypical.