A rare form of mad cow disease has been found in Alabama, according to state officials.
Alabama Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan released a statement saying atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy was confirmed in an 11 year old beef cow.
The U.S. Depertment of Agriculture says this is only the fifth case of this particular form of the disease ever confirmed in the United States.
McMillan says the disease was discovered during routine screening at a livestock market. The infected cow wasn’t slaughtered, and its meat didn’t enter the food chain.
Mad cow disease can spread from byproducts of cud-chewing animals being used in feed, but the state says that's not what happened in this case. The state is calling the discovery a "rare and spontaneous" case of the disease, which can occur in older animals.