First case of mad-cow disease discovered in Poland

May 4, 2002 Deutsche Presse-Agentur by
Polish authorities Saturday announced the country's first case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) had been confirmed in a nine-year old cow, but warned against consumer panic.

A routine test in the southern Polish city of Cracow revealed the presence of BSE, commonly known as mad-cow disease, said veterinary officials in Warsaw. Beef from the infected cow did not enter the retail chain, and beef from the slaughter house where the case was discovered was impounded, authorities said. The slaughterhouse was disinfected, but would be allowed to open in a matter of days, authorities said.

Mad-cow disease is suspected of causing the fatal human ailment, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

Polish authorities have conducted approximately 100,000 BSE tests since the disease was discovered in many western European countries. Poland also banned imports from countries where the disease had been discovered.

Consumption of beef slumped dramatically in countries where the disease was discovered. However a decline in reported cases has prompted a rebound in beef consumption.

Regional authorities in Cracow met in emergency session to assess the extent of the problem as police worked to trace the origin of the diseased cow. dpa ek jm

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