July 3, 2014
Suspected mad cow disease in Romania sparks ban by Russia
Romania's animal health and safety authority said on Wednesday that a preliminary test on May 1 indicated a cow was infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease.
It said the carcass has been sent to a British laboratory for further tests and it could be an "atypical form of BSE which appears naturally and spontaneously in cattle." BSE is fatal to cows and can cause a fatal brain disease in people who eat tainted beef.
The officials only revealed the case after Russia decided to ban imports of Romanian beef, citing fears of BSE. Russia's federal veterinary and phytosanitary control authority, or Rosselkhoznadzor, has banned imports of bovine cattle, beef and by-products from Romania over an outbreak of BSE, according to Itar-Tass.
According to a Rosselkhoznadzor release circulated on Tuesday, the ban is also applicable to processed animal proteins, animal feedstuff made of such proteins, meat-meal and bone tankage.
Romania exports up to one million cattle a year, mainly to the Netherlands, Italy, and Croatia.