First BSE Case Confirmed in the Golan

Jun 05, 2002

Laboratory tests in Switzerland confirm suspicions that Israel has its first case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly know as mad cow disease, in a 10-year-old milk cow at Kibbutz Ortal on the Golan Heights.

The Agriculture Ministry immediately implemented an emergency plan requiring the brains of all slaughtered cattle older than 30 months to be tested before the meat is released for human consumption. This will cost “several millions of shekels a year,” the ministry says. Formal authorization for the program will be brought to the cabinet on Sunday.

The Agriculture Ministry’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Oded Nir, says that it decided to destroy the brain, eyes, spleen, spine, and lower intestines of cattle slaughtered after the age of one year. In addition, cattle over 30 months of age will not be sold for slaughter in the Palestinian Authority. PA veterinarians were briefed by their Israeli counterparts, and it was decided to boost supervision of the transfer of animals between Israel and the PA.

Moderator Comment: Will the latest case of an outbreak
of BSE in Israel affect beef consumption in the United States?

The summer is here and we want our burgers on the grill.
It is part of being American, after all. We have to admit, however, that news
such as this makes us wonder if we should just eat Quorn. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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