Croatia reports suspected case of mad cow disease

Croatia on Friday reported a suspected case of mad cow disease, after preliminary tests on a sick cow indicated it had the brain-wasting disease.

If confirmed, it would be the first case of mad cow in Croatia. The 5-year-old cow was slaughtered after displaying odd behavior, Agriculture Minister Petar Cobankovic said.

Several tests by local laboratories indicated the cow had bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, he said. Samples have been sent to an EU clinic in England for further tests.

The cow was from a small herd on a family farm in northwestern Croatia. Cobankovic said the entire herd would be killed if the final tests confirmed the disease.

The minister urged people not to panic, as it appeared to be an isolated case.

"This disease is not transferred from cow to cow, so there is no reason for fear among consumers," he said, reports the AP.

I.L.

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