The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the finding Tuesday, calling the discovery the nation’s fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The first was found in Washington state in 2003, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The destroyed cow, which was from Hanford, had not entered the food supply. Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the Department of Public Health, issued a statement saying the disease is not transmitted in milk.
“There is no public health threat due to the discovery of BSE in a dairy cow. The food supply in California has not been affected by this discovery, and residents do not need to take any specific precautions. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has many procedures in place to keep this disease from entering the food chain, and the detection found is evidence that the system of safeguards is working. The cow in question was not slaughtered for food and BSE is not transmitted in milk.”