PARIS, Oct 25, (AFP) - A new case of madcow disease, probably due
to cross contamination between animal feed, has been detected in a
herd of cattle in western French region of Mayenne, the Agriculture
Ministry announces Monday.
The ministry said in a communique that the animal infected in
Mayenne was born in 1994, four years after the ban imposed on
animal feed using meat and bones which were considered the main
reason for madcow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy
Officials said France has shown a rise in the number of madcow
cases since 1991 -- a total of 71 cases -- probably due to cross
contamination between feed for cattle, pigs and fowl.
They said that as late as August of 1996, animal feed for pigs and
fowl still included such ingredients as remains of a cow's central
nervous system, considered a high risk for madcow disease.
Although such matter is now destroyed, it has an incubation period
of five years and scientists say they expect new cases of madcow
disease in France until the end of 2001.
The latest case detected in Mayenne brings to 22 the number of cows
infected since the start of the year in France. As in each case, the
entire herd was destroyed to prevent the disease spreading.
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