Mad Cow Reaches Greece

ATHENS, Greece-Officials in Greece are reporting their first case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), more commonly known as Mad Cow disease.

A 5-year-old dairy cow was at a slaughterhouse in Sidirokastro, when it was determined the animal was sick. Mandatory testing became law on January 1 after the European Union decided it was necessary to prevent the spread of the disease. Mad Cow has been lethal to thousands of animals and the economy. Sweeping cases of both Mad Cow and Hoof and Mouth disease have rocked the European continent, forcing governments to take extraordinary precautions to protect their people and livestock.

Greek Agriculture Minister Giorgos Anomeritis is trying to convince the Greek public that there is no threat to consumers. He has said there is no chance the tainted meat will reach the market.

The cow found to be diseased was with a group of four other animals. They were brought to the slaughterhouse from the province of Kilkis June 26. The sick cow's mother was originally imported from Holland in 1994.

Authorities have killed 146 animals as a precaution and authorities are waiting to find out the animal's breeding history to see if other animals also need to be destroyed.

There have been 6,703 samples since January 1 of animals going to slaughter in Greece. This cow was the first to test positive, however, Greece is home to more than a half-million cattle.