The Tulare Co., Calif., dairy cow infected with mad cow disease gave birth to two calves, but there is no evidence the cow's offspring had the disease, federal officials said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, USDA officials have quarantined the Tulare County dairy where the infected cow came from and a second dairy in Central California. A calf ranch where the infected cow was raised 10 years ago also is being investigated.
Since announcing the finding of mad cow disease on April 24th, federal officials have been trying to trace where the infected cow came from and whether any other animals might have the disease.
That search revealed that the infected cow gave birth to two calves -- one was stillborn and the other was located in another state.
The second cow was euthanized and tested for mad cow disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
Test results from the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, showed the cow did not have the fatal disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
USDA spokesman Larry Hawkins said the second dairy was quarantined because the infected cow may have moved between the two dairies.
Under the quarantine, the dairies are restricted from moving their cows off the farm during the investigation but can continue producing milk.
Federal health experts have said the disease cannot be passed to humans through milk.
Mad cow disease attacks the brain and is fatal to cows. Humans can get it from eating tainted meat -- but federal and state officials have been quick to say the diseased cow was not destined for the food chain and did not pose a risk to the food supply or to human health.
The infected cow was euthanized at the dairy after becoming lame and unable to stand. The carcass was on its way to a Fresno County rendering plant when it was randomly tested as part of the USDA's surveillance program.
The Food and Drug Administration and California Department of Food and Agriculture are also looking into the feed records at the Tulare County dairy and the calf ranch.
So far, 10 feed firms have been identified as suppliers for the Tulare County dairy.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6327, email@example.com or on Twitter @FresnoBeeBob.
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