Atypical BSE case

Case of Atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) detected in Alabama
The Livestock Marketing Association is aware of an atypical case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), a neurologic disease of cattle, in Alabama. This case was found in an eleven-year old cow as part of USDA’s ongoing BSE surveillance program. This animal never entered slaughter channels and at no time presented a risk to the food supply, or to human health in the United States. The cow was consigned at a livestock auction market in Alabama but was not sold.

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) have determined that this cow was positive for atypical (L-type) BSE. The animal was showing clinical signs and was found through routine surveillance at the market. 

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has recognized the United States as negligible risk for BSE. As noted in the OIE guidelines for determining this status, atypical BSE cases do not impact official BSE risk status recognition as this form of the disease is believed to occur spontaneously in all cattle populations at a very low rate. Therefore, this finding of an atypical case will not change the negligible risk status of the United States, and according to USDA, should not lead to any trade issues. In an effort to be transparent, USDA is communicating with trade partners about the atypical case of BSE.

LMA is working with industry officials and allies, and will remain engaged in the situation. Additional information will be relayed to LMA membership as necessary. If you have questions, please contact Lindsay Graber Runft at (816) 301-2426 or your Region Executive Officer. 

Additional Information from USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
BSE is not contagious and exists in two types - classical and atypical.  

  • Classical BSE is the form that occurred primarily in the United Kingdom, beginning in the late 1980’s, and it has been linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in people. The primary source of infection for classical BSE is feed contaminated with the infectious prion agent, such as meat-and-bone meal containing protein derived from rendered infected cattle.  Regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have prohibited the inclusion of mammalian protein in feed for cattle and other ruminants since 1997 and have also prohibited high risk tissue materials in all animal feed since 2009. 

  • Atypical BSE is different, and it generally occurs in older cattle, usually 8 years of age or greater. It seems to arise rarely and spontaneously in all cattle populations. 
  • This is the nation’s 5th detection of BSE.  Of the four previous U.S. cases, the first was a case of classical BSE that was imported from Canada; the rest have been atypical (H- or L-type) BSE.

The United States has a longstanding system of interlocking safeguards against BSE that protects public and animal health in the United States.

  • The most important safeguard is the removal of specified risk materials - or the parts of an animal that would contain BSE should an animal have the disease - from all animals presented for slaughter.
  • The second safeguard is a strong feed ban that protects cattle from the disease.
  • Another important component of our system - which led to this detection - is our ongoing BSE surveillance program that allows USDA to detect the disease if it exists at very low levels in the U.S. cattle population.

BSE Surveillance Program
USDA has an ongoing, comprehensive, interagency surveillance program to detect signs of BSE in the United States. USDA's BSE surveillance program samples approximately 40,000 animals each year and targets cattle populations where the disease is most likely to be found. The targeted population for ongoing surveillance focuses on cattle exhibiting signs of central nervous disorders or any other signs that may be associated with BSE, including emaciation or injury, and dead cattle, as well as non-ambulatory animals. Samples from the targeted population are taken at farms, veterinary diagnostic laboratories, public health laboratories, slaughter facilities, veterinary clinics, and livestock markets. In addition, approximately 5,000 samples each year are collected from renderers and similar salvage facilities.

USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, IA, along with contracted veterinary diagnostic laboratories, use rapid screening tests as the initial screening method on all samples. Any inconclusive samples are sent to NVSL for further testing and analysis.

General Talking Points

  • An eleven-year-old cow showed clinical signs of BSE at a livestock auction market in Alabama. This cow died at the market and subsequently tested positive for an atypical case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).
    • Atypical BSE is different than classical BSE, which is linked to illness in humans and is primarily caused by contaminated feed. 
    • Atypical BSE generally occurs in older cattle and rarely arises.
  • Beef in the United States is safe.
    • This cow never entered slaughter channels.
  • BSE is not contagious.
    • BSE does not present a health risk to humans.
    • BSE can only be spread through contaminated feed. In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned from cattle feed such protein supplements that could spread BSE.
  • BSE is extremely rare in the United States.
  • USDA has been in communication with trade partners about the atypical BSE case and does not expect any trade issues.
    • The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has recognized the United States as negligible risk for BSE. The risk status is not expected to change, as atypical BSE cases do not impact official BSE risk status recognition.

Sources of Information
USDA APHIS USDA Detects a Case of Atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in Alabama
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy



Will Epperly along with Kyle Wadsworth, Austin Schaben, Jay Schaben at the 2017 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship
in Billings, Montana. Will placed 3rd out of 31 finalist. Congratulations Will, great job!

So many things to talk about but I really want to focus on one. The fires that have devastated ranch families in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas & Colorado are mind boggling in their destruction. Thank you so much to Gene & Kelly Garrett, Ken Schechinger & Tim Graeve for encouraging & helping us organize and fundraiser to distribute funds through the cattleman’s groups in those respective states. Here is the list of donors who helped us raise over 46 thousand Friday during our precondition auction. It’s not too late to donate. Call Ruby in the office for details. Thanks again to all who donated. As always I am very proud to be associated with you all. As of Monday morning this is the current list of those who donated.

Carroll County Cattlemen                        $3000.00
Garrett Land & Cattle                                  1750.00
Livestock Marketing Agency                     1500.00
Boone County Cattlemen                          1500.00
Shelby County Cattlemen                          1000.00
Creston Livestock Auction                         1000.00
Dunlap Livestock Auction                          1000.00
Dan Morgan Commodities                        1000.00
Art Farley                                                        1000.00
Woodbury County Cattlemen                  1000.00
Audubon County Cattlemen                     1000.00
Sac County Cattlemen                                1000.00
Crawford County Cattlemen                     1000.00
Harrison County Cattlemen                       1000.00
Producers Livestock                                    1000.00
Western IA Precondition                            1000.00
Roy & Jan Tiarks                                           1000.00
Jim & Cindie Schaben                                 1000.00
Weborg Feedyard                                        1000.00
Twin Valley Vet Clinic                                    900.00
Humboldt County Cattlemen                      750.00
Vaughn Ranshaw                                           500.00
Cherokee County Cattlemen                       500.00
Ruth Schaben                                                  500.00
Green County Cattlemen                             500.00
4 County Fair                                                   500.00
Mark Janssen                                                  500.00
Al & Polly Pithan                                            500.00
Rowland Burton                                             500.00
Monona County Cattlemen                        500.00
United Bank of Iowa                                     500.00
Harold Drogmiller                                          
6M Feedyard, Steve & Jackie Meyer         500.00
Ida County Cattlemen                                   500.00
Two Oaks Red Angus, Brandon McHugh 500.00
West Pottawattamie County Fair               500.00
Dan Wood                                                        500.00
Ken & Kate Schechinger                               500.00
Maverick Roofing                                           500.00
Shelby Vet Clinic                                             500.00
Empire Land & Cattle                                    500.00
Kenneth Kline                                                  500.00
Cumming County Cattlemen                      500.00
Larry Knudsen                                               
Alan Calvin & Jared Bruhn                          
Gary & Charlene Rupiper
, Don Stessman500.00
Gary Vetter                                                      500.00
Dennis & Beverly Menefee                          500.00
Tom Bothwell                                                  500.00

Abe Sandquist Natural Fertilizer                 400.00
Burt County Cattlemen                                 300.00
Craig County Cattlemen                               300.00
Washington County Cattlemen                  300.00
Chester & Christopher Lee                           300.00
Kenny & Ruby Mumm                                  300.00
Eric Monson                                                    300.00
Nemitz Trucking                                             300.00
Adam Laubenthal                                          300.00
Roger Kock                                                       300.00
Dan Burkhart                                                   300.00
Leonard Cattle Company                             300.00
Epperly Family, ADR Cattle                          250.00
Blazin B, Bob Boettger                                  250.00
Boyer Valley FFA                                             250.00
Dunlap Knight Riders 4-H                             250.00
Bryce Riessen                                                  250.00
Ron Bierl                                                           250.00
4-Lee Farms, Kenny McIntosh                    250.00
Al & Mary Cumming                                      250.00
Heller Implement                                           250.00
Craig Kelley                                                      250.00
Harrison & Crawford Co Corn Growers     250.00
Calhoun Co. Corn Growers                          250.00

Crop Production Services                            
Joe & Beth Schaben                                      200.00
Van Arneman Family                                    200.00
Cass County Cattlemen                                200.00
Dunlap Dairy Sweet                                       200.00
Mr. & Mrs. Ralph McGregor                        200.00
Bo Fox                                                               200.00

Brad Knudsen                                                  100.00
Jim & Sue Stephens                                       100.00
Alexander Family of Virginia                       100.00
Kennedy Feedyard                                         100.00
MC2 Inc. Chris Langer                                   100.00
Twin Pines, Bruning Family                          100.00
Kevin Parr                                                         100.00
David J. Kramer                                               100.00
Tim Graeve                                                       100.00
Double S Bull Co., Shad Smith                    100.00
Pope Trucking                                                 100.00
Mason Fleenor                                           
Don Friedrichsen                                          
Paulsrud Angus                                               100.00
Brester Feedyard                                            100.00
D & K Hansen                                                  100.00
Corey & Ashley Donscheski                         100.00
Mike Dea                                                          100.00
Greg Fischer                                                     100.00
Chris Fleischman                                             100.00
Ed Brennen                                                      100.00
Paul & Jodi Klein                                             100.00
Tom Sokolowski                                             100.00
John Johnson                                                  100.00
Shelly Marquardt                                             50.00
Rich Ohlinger                                                 
Steve & Judy Boyle                                          50.00
Brock Boyle                                                        50.00
Dan Madsen                                                      50.00
Mike Fara                                                            50.00
Fred & Mary Gruhn                                          20.00


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