Have you heard of this new case of mad cow disease?

Have you heard of this new case of mad cow disease? Well, I have, because it was discovered earlier this week, right here in California. A dairy cow that was raised in the Central Valley died for no apparent reason, so a lot of tests were performed. Mad cow disease came back as the cause of death, even though the animal didn’t display any symptoms before its death. 

Cow photo from the KPBS article on mad cow disease in California

Cow photo from the KPBS article on mad cow disease in California

I first heard it on my KPBS news radio station (local station for National Public Radio) and then saw it in their Facebook news thread, where they used a photo of several healthy cows (see above). Here’s the link to the short article on this mad cow disease case discovery, where you can also listen to an audio interview with a few experts on this discovery.

Apparently, eating dairy products will not give you mad cow disease, even if the cow was sick. Wow, do I feel safe now, or what?

One interesting fact you may learn during the discussion is that California is #1 in dairy product sales in the whole 50 states of America. Take that, Wisconsin! Oh wait, now we may have to worry about cows dropping dead. Darn.

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12 responses to “Have you heard of this new case of mad cow disease?

  1. Slightly worrying that there were no symptoms before death….

    • Apparently it was old and weak, so it was put down. The weird part is, they’re calling it a “spontaneous” case of mad cow. I’m not sure how this is really possible, but I’m not an expert.

      • Basically what causes BSE (mad cow) is a mutated prion, which is just a protein found naturally in the cow. This mutation can be caused either from the cow consuming the brain and or spinal cord of another animal infected with BSE, therefore having the mutated prions, which will cause the same mutation in the cow. This mutation can also occur spontaneously on its own, as it did in this case. Hope this helps you understand a little better.

      • Thank you. That explains a lot how this cow got BSE out of the blue. The news went away as fast as it came.

  2. Well despite the scares when we had it here in the UK, there has not (as yet) been a spate of CJD cases, so I don’t think you do need to panic. A lot of countries wouldn’t buy our beef, but it was sold here, as was milk. It’s a bad do for dairy farmers though.

  3. There is absolutely no reason to feel unsafe at all. There is no way to “get” mad cow (or the correct name Bovine Spongiform Ensolopathy: BSE) from eating any of the meat from an infected cow, let alone its dairy product. In a very general, easy to understand sense, BSE ( mad cow) only affects the animal’s brain and spinal cord, so the only possible way of getting it yourself is consume the brain and spinal cord of the infected animal. This does not however guarantee that you will get infected yourself, you would need to consume many infected brains and spinal cords before it would be very likely you would get infected as well. So there is really absolutely nothing to be afraid of at all with the discovery of ” mad cow disease” which makes many uninformed people panic like a nuclear holocaust is about to occur. I just thought I would give a little background information on the subject for any one who cares to know a little something.

    • Thanks for the feedback. It’s been made clear you can’t get mad cow disease from dairy, so this is not a health danger, but I want to think it may have a negative effect on U.S. cattle, even though this happened to a dairy cow.

      • Yes, the media always does its best to do whatever it can to make every little thing that happens in agriculture a big deal, and usually ends up in a huge scare against us. I just want to do whatever it is that I can to try to inform everyone possible so they do not get scared and panic over little things that really do not affect them in nearly the way we are being brainwashed to think they do.

  4. The cow was over 10 years old, became lame, and unable to stand, so the farmer “put her down”. Like we would do for our dogs or cats when they are in pain and can not be fixed. The dead carcess was sent to a rendering plant to be disposed of, (not for the food chain). Just thought I would add to Tylers explation.

    • Thanks for providing more details about this story. Hopefully this is just a random case and we won’t hear about any more cases.

    • Yes, thank you “vgdf” I didn’t add that information just because I felt it could confuse people that don’t know much about this subject, and felt that the most important point to get across was that BSE poses no harm to anyone consuming the animal or milk from her.

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