(WASHINGTON) - The Agriculture Department says a new case of mad cow disease has surfaced in a dairy cow in California, but the animal was not bound for the nation's food supply and posed no danger.
An official says the cow from central California did not enter the human food chain and that U.S. meat and dairy supplies are safe. It's the fourth such cow discovered in the United States since the government began inspecting for the disease to keep the food supply safe.
There was no immediate word when the disease was discovered or exactly where the cow was raised. He said the cow was at a rendering plant in Central California when the case was discovered through regular USDA sample testing.
Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef. The World Health Organization has said that tests show that humans cannot be infected by drinking milk from BSE-infected animals.
The official says the California cow is unusual in that it didn't get the disease from eating infected cattle feed.
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