10 May 1996

Transmission is ruled out

BSE is not readily transmitted from cow to calf.

Proof is supplied in a report in the Veterinary Record, Apr 26 by researchers Prof Robert Curnow and Cath Hau.

It rules out the chance of BSE being sustained in the national herd due to maternal transmission.

Work compared BSE incidence in the progeny of two affected sires and 110 affected dams with that of offspring of animals known to be unaffected. All progeny were born before the ban on ruminant protein in feed issued on July 1988.

The study found that the dams disease status did not significantly affect the disease status of its progeny.

Results provided little, if any, evidence of differences between BSE in progeny of affected and presumed unaffected animals.

However, the report acknowledges that evidence for or against maternal transmission would be hard to find if a large number of dams are incubating the disease. &#42