FARMERS and the public in Wales have been assured there is no need for concern over an isolated outbreak of 'mad cow disease' BSE in Scotland.

The infected cow in Aberdeenshire is the first BSE case confirmed in Scotland in ten years, and was identified as a result of the strict control measures that are still in place to monitor for the disease.

Now vanishingly rare, occasional instances continue to appear spontaneously in individual animals at a very low rate. The last UK case was confirmed in Wales in 2015.

Quality Meat Scotland chair, Kate Rowell, who is also a farmer and qualified vet, strongly urged the media to report this single case responsibly and accurately to avoid any unjustified concern from the public.

“The reality is that sporadic cases, such as the one confirmed this week, do occur and have also been reported in other countries," said Ms Rowell.

"The Scottish red meat industry has built a global reputation for the quality of its beef and we developed this with Controlled Risk (CR) status until 2017 when that changed to Negligible Risk (NR) status.

"Accordingly, we do not anticipate that the return to CR status, the same status as exists in England and Wales, will have any serious impact on export market growth.”

NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick commented: “It is disappointing to learn of this BSE case within the Aberdeenshire area. Whilst we lose our negligible risk status, it is not unexpected to see a new case and demonstrates the efficacy of the surveillance measures in place. This simply brings us back in line with the rest of Great Britain, reverting back to where we were 18 months ago."