KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), which affected livestock in Brazil earlier this year, is the atypical BSE type H, which occurs naturally in old livestock and does not cause disease in humans.
In a statement today, the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) stated that the public need not worry about eating meat or beef products imported from abroad.
“The department constantly monitors and ensures that meat or beef products imported from abroad for local consumption are disease-free and safe,” the statement read.
BSE is divided into Classical BSE, which occurs through food consumption or food products contaminated with prions (abnormal accumulation of proteins), and atypical H- type BSE and atypical L-type BSE, each of which occurs naturally in old livestock.
“Only classical BSE can cause variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in people who eat meat or food contaminated with prions.
“The atypical BSE types H and L do not cause disease in humans,” the department said.
BSE is a chronic disease in cattle that takes years to show signs of illness. It was first discovered in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1986.