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IN SHORTS

First case of mad cow disease in 2003

THE FIRST positive case of mad cow disease in Slovakia this year has been confirmed both by the State Veterinary Institute (ŠVÚ) in Zvolen and the Neuro-immunological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV).

Pavel Kaňka, director of the Regional Veterinary and Food Administration in Žiar nad Hronom, told the TASR news agency that the 70-month-old cow infected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) comes from a domestic breed on a farm in Nová Baňa in central Slovakia.

The disease was discovered only after the cow had been slaughtered, when a sample of its brain tissue was routinely tested by the ŠVÚ as part of intensive BSE monitoring in Slovakia.

This is Slovakia's 12th positive case of BSE. The previous 11 cases were reported between September 2001 and August 2002. Almost 85,000 head of cattle have been checked for BSE in Slovakia since the beginning of 2002.

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