The Scottish Government has activated a response plan after a case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) was confirmed on a farm in Aberdeenshire.
Precautionary movement restrictions have been put in place on the farm while further investigations to identify the origin of the disease are carried out.
Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has confirmed there is there is no risk to human health as a result of this isolated case, but all of the animal’s cohorts, including its offspring, will be destroyed.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing and chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas pointed out the quick detection of the disease was proof the surveillance system was working.
The system ensures all animals over four years of age which die on farm are routinely tested for BSE.
“I have activated the Scottish Government’s response plan to protect our valuable farming industry, including establishing a precautionary movement ban being placed on the farm,” Mr Ewing said.
“Be assured the Scottish Government and its partners stand ready to respond to any further confirmed cases of the disease in Scotland.”
Prof Voas said she was working closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency to find out where the disease came from.
She also urged any farmer who has concerns to seek veterinary advice immediately.
Ian McWatt, director of operations at FSS, moved to reassure consumers by pointing to the strict rules in place to protect them from the risk of BSE, including controls on animal feed and removal of the parts of cattle most likely to carry BSE infectivity.
He said: “Food Standards Scotland Official Veterinarians and Meat Hygiene Inspectors working in all abattoirs in Scotland will continue to ensure that in respect of BSE controls, the safety of consumers remains a priority.
“We will continue to work closely with Scottish Government, other agencies and industry at this time.”