Restrictions have been put in place on a farm in Scotland following a confirmed case of classical BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease.

A precautionary movement ban has been put in place by the Scottish government at the affected farm, which is located in Ayrshire in the southwest of Scotland.

Movement restrictions have also been put in place at three further farms – the farm of the animal’s origin and two more holdings where animals that have had access to the same feed are.

The case was identified as a result of routine surveillance and stringent control measures, the Scottish government said in a statement.

The animal did not enter the human food chain and Food Standards Scotland has confirmed there is no risk to human health as a result of this isolated case.


Further investigations to identify the origin of the disease are ongoing, the statement said.

“The fact we identified this isolated case so quickly is proof that our surveillance system for detecting this type of disease is working effectively.

“I want to thank the animal’s owner for their diligence. Their decisive action has allowed us to identify and isolate the case at speed, which has minimised its impact on the wider industry," Scotland's agriculture minister Jim Fairlie said.

Chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas added that they are working with the Animal and Plant Health Agency and other partners to identify where the disease came from.

BSE testing

All animals over four years of age that die on farm are routinely tested for BSE via the Scottish Department of Agriculture's surveillance system.

The statement added that while the disease is not directly transmitted from animal to animal, its cohorts, including offspring, have been traced and isolated and will be destroyed in line with legal requirements.