Authorities in Bavaria Tuesday launched an emergency program to combat mad cow disease after the illness was discovered in a cow in the southern German state.
Health and social affairs minister Barbara Stamm said after a meeting of the regional government that 10 million marks (about five million euros, 4.5 million dollars) would be set aside for research into bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
The research would aim at elucidating the propagation of the disease and the development of diagnostic tests on live cattle, she said.
Another 12 million marks would go to farmers whose herds are hit by BSE.
Stamm announced that the herd in the Oberallgaeu district from which the diseased cow came would be destroyed. The Bavarian government had initially wanted simply to quarantine it and use it for research.
Bavarian authorities Sunday announced the confirmation of the second known case in Germany of BSE in a German-born beast. A first case, in northern Schleswig-Holstein, was announced November 24.
Until then, the German authorities had believed German cattle were BSE-free, but they now expect further cases to turn up as large-scale testing of their meat gets under way.
The result of tests on two further suspected cases in Bavaria was being awaited -- MUNICH (AFP)
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