Suspected Mad Cow Case Discovered in Norway

A probable case of mad cow disease was found in Norway
Wikimedia/Ernst Vikne

A cow in Norway has tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

A cow in Norway has tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, but veterinary officials are urging residents not to panic yet.

According to The Local, the infected animal was a 15-year-old cow from a farm in west-central Norway. She was tested twice and both tests reportedly came back positive for mad cow disease, but veterinary officials say it is not the same strain of mad cow disease that caused an epidemic in the U.K. in the 1990s.That epidemic came from the habit of giving cows meat-based feed, which has been illegal in Europe since 2001. However, mad cow disease can also occur naturally in older cows, and Norwegian veterinary authorities maintain that is the more likely cause of this particular infection.

The cow’s samples have been sent to a laboratory in the U.K. to confirm the presence of BSE, but officials say they’re proceeding as though the diagnosis were confirmed.

"We take this seriously and we are handling it as if our suspicion were confirmed," Food and Safety Authority official Solfrid Aamdal said.

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The Food and Safety Authority says beef and milk production in Norway are still safe.