The Scottish government has confirmed that a case of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, was detected on a farm in Ayrshire.

Precautionary movement restrictions have been put in place at impacted premises and cover animals which have been in contact with the case.

Movement restrictions are in place at three further farms – the farm of the animal’s origin and two more holdings where animals that have had access to the same feed are.

The Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) is heading further investigations to identify the origin of the disease.

The case was identified as a result of routine surveillance and stringent control measures. The animal did not enter the human food chain.

Food Standards Scotland has confirmed there is no risk to human health as a result of this case.

The owners of the affected animals are working with authorities on the next steps, the Scottish government said.

‘Swift and robust action’

Scottish agriculture minister Jim Fairlie said: “Following confirmation of a case of classical BSE in Ayrshire, the Scottish government and other agencies took swift and robust action to protect the agriculture sector.

“This included establishing a precautionary movement ban on the farm.

“The fact we identified this isolated case so quickly is proof that our surveillance system for detecting this type of disease is working effectively.”

Fairlie thanked the animal’s owner for their diligence and said “decisive action” has allowed the government to identify and isolate the case at speed to minimise its impact on the wider industry.

Scotland’s chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas said the fast detection of this case is proof that the surveillance system is “doing its job”.

“We are working closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency, and other partners to identify where the disease came from,” she said.

“I want to reassure both farmers and the public that the risk associated with this isolated case is minimal. But, if any farmers are concerned, I would urge them to seek veterinary advice.”