Purdue experts available on topic of mad cow disease (BSE)

April 25, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University has experts who are available for interview on the topic of the case of mad cow disease, also known as BSE, discovered in California and its effect on the cattle futures market.
     
For information about mad cow disease itself, contact:
Stephen B. Hooser, director
Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
Telephone: 765-494-7440
shooser1@purdue.edu 

For information on the cattle futures market, contact:
Chris Hurt, professor of agricultural economics and Extension specialist
Telephone: 765-494-4273
hurtc@purdue.edu
 
After normal business hours, for assistance contact:
Keith Robinson
Coordinator of News and Public Affairs
Department of Agricultural Communication
Telephone: 317-752-8424
robins89@purdue.edu   :
     
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday (April 24) confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, known by its popular term mad cow disease, in a California dairy cow. It said the cow did not enter the human food chain and that the carcass was being held at a rendering facility.

According to the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, BSE is "a progressive and fatal neurologic disease of cattle believed to be caused by an unconventional transmissible agent, an abnormal prion protein." The USDA says the disease is not contagious. The primary source of infection is feed contaminated with the infectious prion agent.

Mad cow disease was first diagnosed in 1986 in the United Kingdom. It has been detected in many other countries, including three previous cases in the U.S. from 2003 to 2006, the USDA says.
     
Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, robins89@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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