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Following are the latest developments in the situation with the U.S. confirming its fourth case of BSE:
USDA investigation: "The animal in question was 10 years and 7 months old and came from a dairy farm in Tulare County, California," USDA said in an update issued late Thursday. "The animal was humanely euthanized after it developed lameness and became recumbent. The animal’s carcass will be destroyed."
USDA has continued to stress that the animal in question was not presented for slaughter for human consumption, did not enter food supply channels and posed not risk to human health. The positive animal was tested as part of targeted BSE surveillance at rendering facilities. Samples were sent to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory for testing and forwarded to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) on April 20th for confirmatory testing. APHIS announced the confirmed positive finding April 24th.
FDA response: "The FDA is confident in the effectiveness of the existing animal feed safeguards designed to prevent the spread of BSE through feed," the agency said in a statement. "Although current science suggests that atypical cases of BSE, such as this one, are unlikely to be transmitted through animal feed, the FDA will work with the USDA to complete a thorough epidemiological investigation."