Austria Confirms First BSE CaseMonday, December 17, 2001
According to Reuters, Austria on Friday confirmed its first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). This leaves Sweden as the only country in the European Union (EU) without a reported case of the brain-wasting disease. Mandatory testing for BSE, carried out after the suspect animal was slaughtered last Thursday, proved positive and tissue samples were dispatched for independent verification to a laboratory in England. "The four tests undertaken in Austria were fully confirmed by the laboratory in Weybridge. Austria has its first case of BSE," Gerald Grosz, spokesman for Health Minister Herbert Haupt, told Reuters. The 70-month-old contaminated cow, born and reared in Austria, came from a farm near Gmuend in the eastern province of Lower Austria. Both the farm and slaughterhouse have been shut to allow for further testing on the other animals and their feed.