On Tuesday, July 25, 2017 the Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced an atypical case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy had been discovered in an 11-year-old beef cow in Alabama. The animal did not enter slaughter channels and does not present a risk to food supply or human health.  

There are two types of BSE, classical and atypical, and is not a contagious disease. Atypical cases are different from classical cases in that they arise rarely and spontaneously in cattle over 8 years of age. The World Organization for animal Health recognizes the United States as being at negligible risk for BSE and has determined that an atypical case does not impact that recognition status. At this time, U.S. trade partners are not reacting negatively to the announcement, and as has been the experience with other atypical cases, this finding should not cause a trade disruption.