Cow Imported Into U.S. Was In Same Herd As Infected Cow

Tuesday, April 10th 2007, 5:50 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A heifer imported into the United States in 2002 was born in the same Canadian herd as a bull diagnosed in February with mad cow disease, the Agriculture Department said Tuesday.

The cow was slaughtered in Nebraska before it was 30 months old and showed no signs of the brain-wasting disease, said Karen Eggert, a spokeswoman for the Animal and Plant Inspection Service

Older animals carry a higher risk of mad cow disease, which is known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.

``If it was showing any signs, it would not have been able to go to slaughter,'' Eggert said, noting that it was observed by Agriculture Department inspectors.

Meat from the animal probably entered the food supply, Eggert said, but is at ``negligible'' risk of having posed a threat to animal or human health.

In February, Canada confirmed its ninth case of mad cow disease since 2003. There have been three confirmed cases of mad cow disease in U.S. animals.

Mad cow disease is linked to more than 150 human deaths worldwide, mostly in Britain.