NEWS

Mad cow cases in central Greece under the microscope

Food given to cattle in a farm in Fthiotida, central Greece, came under the microscope this week as the agricultural unit was placed in quarantine following the discovery of two cases of mad cow disease, almost 10 years since the disesase last appeared in Greece.

While samples were sent to London for further investigation, the Agriculture Ministry said the farm had been closed off. Authorities also assured Greek consumers that no contaminated meat had entered the local market.

The cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) were found in two dead cows that had been imported from the Netherlands. The animals are thought to be six years old.

BSE can be transmitted to humans who eat food derived from the infected cows, particularly if it contains nervous tissue. In humans, the disease is known as new variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease.

Ministry officials noted they were in contact with their Dutch counterparts and were due to inform the European Commission.

Preventive control programs have been running in Greece since 1997.

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