State Veterinarian alerts cattle owners to disease detection

Black and white cows in the meadow – Envato Elements

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee State Veterinarian is confirming a case of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a cow with ties to Tennessee.

The cow appeared unwell after arriving at a packing company in South Carolina. In alignment with the United States Department of Agriculture’s BSE surveillance program, the animal was isolated and euthanized. It did not enter the food supply. Preliminary investigation has determined the cow originated in southeast Tennessee.

“We are working closely with our federal partners and animal health officials in South Carolina for this response,” State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty said. “That includes determining prior owners and locations where the affected cow lived in Tennessee and tracing siblings and offspring for testing.”

BSE is a chronic degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of cattle. It is caused by an abnormal prion protein. The atypical form occurs spontaneously at very low levels in all cattle populations, particularly in older animals. Atypical BSE poses no known risk to human health. It is different from the classical form of BSE, which has not been detected in the U.S. since 2003.

BSE is not contagious and therefore is not spread through contact between cattle or with other species. There is no treatment for or vaccine to prevent BSE. The U.S. has a strong surveillance program in place for early detection and to prevent suspect cattle from entering the food supply chain.

Cattle owners are always advised to monitor their herds for health. Cattle affected by BSE may display changes in temperament, abnormal posture, poor coordination, decreased milk production, or loss of condition without noticeable loss of appetite. Owners should report any herd health concerns to their veterinarian or to the State Veterinarian’s office at 615-837-5120. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Animal Health Division is responsible for promoting animal health in Tennessee. The State Veterinarian’s office seeks to prevent the spread of disease through import and movement requirements, livestock traceability, disaster mitigation, and the services of the C.E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory. The division collaborates with other health-related stakeholders, academic institutions, and extension services to support One Health, an initiative to improve health for people and animals.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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