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USDA: Alabama Cow Tests Positive for BSE

The disease was confirmed by a contract lab at the University of Georgia using a Western Blot test, John Clifford, the USDA's chief veterinary officer, said today in a conference call from Washington, which was available on the its website, www.usda.gov .

A rapid test last week had provided an "inconclusive" result. Meat from the animal didn't enter the human or animal food chains, Clifford assured.

Though the animal's age has not been determined, Clifford said the cow's teeth indicate it may have been 10 years of age or older. That means the animal would have been born before the U.S. and Canada banned the practice of using cattle feed containing the ground-up parts of other cattle, which is how scientists say mad-cow disease is spread.

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