Evros cow did not die mad, UK lab finds

Fears of a second mad cow disease outbreak in Greece were dispelled yesterday after a British laboratory announced the results of tests on a suspect sample from an Evros cow were negative. Initial tests in Greece on tissue from the 11-year-old, Czech-born cow slaughtered on February 25 in an abattoir in Ferres, Thrace, indicated that the animal had been suffering from a form of encephalitis. This raised concern that the cow might have contracted bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE), linked with the mind-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease that has killed dozens of people in Europe. Even though the animal had been designated as suspect for mad cow sickness, abattoir officials allowed its meat to be sold by a Ferres butcher. This triggered a BSE scare. But yesterday’s results from the UK’s central Veterinary Laboratory in Surrey, proved it to have been a false alarm.