USDA officials confirmed Monday a new case of bovine spongiform. John Clifford, USDA's chief veterinarian, says a preliminary test detected the BSE in an Alabama beef cow last week. More detailed testing at a government lab in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the results. He adds that there’s no risk to public health as the carcass did not enter the food chain. The cow was at least 10 years old.

The suspect animal was found when a brain sample yielded an "inconclusive" result during a rapid-screening test. The United States has had three cases—two in 2004, a third in 2005-- in which "inconclusive" results turned out to be negative. This new-suspected case is a setback for officials in trying to reopen beef trade with Japan and South Korea.

To hear Clifford's comments (provided by AgriTalk), follow this link.

To read more of Clifford’s comments, go to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/content/2006/03/bsestatement3-13-06_vs.shtml

Associated Press, USDA