On Monday, February 9, 2004, Dr. Ron DeHaven, Deputy Administrator of Veterinary Services for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, announced that the field investigation of the case of BSE in a cow in the State of Washington is complete. This will be the last written daily update. However, information will be provided in the future on an as needed basis.
A summary of the investigation follows.
The epidemiological tracing and DNA evidence proves that the BSE positive cow slaughtered in the State of Washington on December 9, 2003, was born on a dairy farm in Calmar, Alberta, Canada, on April 9, 1997. She was moved to the United States in September 2001 along with 80 other cattle from that dairy. A brain sample collected from the cow at slaughter tested positive for BSE on December 23rd.
The epidemiological investigation to find additional animals from the source herd led to a total of 189 investigations (these were investigations, not premises, and one investigation may or may not equal one premises; in some cases there are no premises [a dealer that just trucks animals from one place to another] but, more likely, one investigation can equal more than one premises), leading to complete herd inventories on 51 premises in three States: Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The inventories involved the examination of the identification on more than 75,000 animals. All herd inventories have now been completed and appropriate analysis of those inventories performed. There are no premises remaining under hold order.
A total of 255 “Animals of Interest” were identified on 10 premises in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. “Animals of Interest” are defined as animals that were – or could have been – from the source herd in Alberta, Canada. All 255 animals were depopulated and BSE testing was negative on all of them. The carcasses from all of the euthanized animals were disposed of in landfills in accordance with all federal, state, and local regulations.
Included in the 255 animals of interest were 28 positively identified back to the group of 80 cattle that entered the U.S. with the index cow, as well as 7 heifers out of a group of 17 heifers which were also known to be from the source herd. It is not believed that all of these 17 entered the United States, but all of them would be considered minimal risk and not significant to the investigation.