JUNE 30, 2005 - Posted at 8:15 a.m. CDT
LUBBOCK, TX - The nation's first domestic case of mad cow disease has been traced to a 12 year old Texas-born cow that was destined to become pet food until the federal government's testing program kicked in.
The animal was first identified as a potential case of the brain-wasting disease at Waco-based Champion Pet Foods Incorporated. The lab, which also tests cows from Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico, is one of several the Agriculture Department uses to screen the nation's cattle for mad cow disease. The plant is under contract to take samples from animals with questionable health.
Officials say the animal did not enter the human or pet food supply.
It was the first time the disease has been confirmed in a U.S.-born cow. The other U.S. case, confirmed in December 2003 in Washington state, was in a dairy cow imported from Canada.