Mad cow disease was found at a farm in Scotland, prompting authorities to limit animal movement while they investigate and risking trade disruptions.

An incident of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, was confirmed in Ayrshire in the west of the country, according to a statement from the Scottish government. The last UK case was detected in England in September 2021 and there have been five over the past decade, not including the less severe “atypical” variety.

The animal didn’t enter the food chain and the case was identified through routine surveillance, the government said. Still, disease outbreaks can raise the risk of import restrictions abroad. The government emphasized that British beef remains safe and can be traded as before.

Limits on movement were put in place at the farm and two more where animals had access to the same feed. The Animal and Plant Health Agency is seeking to trace the origin of the disease. Classical BSE doesn’t spread directly between animals. 

“I want to reassure both farmers and the public that the risk associated with this isolated case is minimal,” Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said in the statement on Friday. 

Eating meat from animals infected with BSE has been tied to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which destroys brain tissue in humans and is incurable. In the 1980s and 1990s, the UK suffered an epidemic of mad cow disease that killed several people and led to widespread export bans on beef.

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