Source: Christopher Doering Gannett

An adult dairy cow in the Central Valley has contracted the first U.S. case of mad cow disease discovered in six years and only the fourth ever confirmed in this country, but the animal did not enter the food supply, the Department of Agriculture said Tuesday.

The California cow “was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health,” John Clifford, the USDA’s chief veterinarian, told reporters. “USDA remains confident in the health of the national herd and the safety of beef and dairy products.”

Clifford said authorities were still determining the age, birthplace and the exact timeline when the animal was found to have the disease, and when USDA officials were informed of the discovery. The cow is being held in California and will be destroyed, he said.

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