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Mad Cow Disease Case Confirmed In California, USDA Says

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U.S. live cattle futures spiraled lower Tuesday afternoon, following news of a confirmed case of mad cow disease in central California.

As the Department of Agricultural held a press conference detailing the first case of mad cow disease since 2006, live cattle futures sank by the exchange limit across the board for 2012.

Cattle futures for June plunged 3 cents, or 2.6 percent, to settle at $1.11575 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

The price drop was said to be in response to the traveling news of mad cow disease and fund liquidation.

John Clifford, the USDA's chief veterinarian, told reporters Tuesday in a briefing in Washington that the animal was found at a rendering facility. The meat of the animal did not enter the food chain and the carcass will be destroyed, Clifford said. Milk from the cow was safe.

Mad cow disease was first discovered in December 2003 in an animal that came from Canada, and this marks the fourth confirmed case of the brain-wasting disease in the U.S. cattle herd.

by RTT Staff Writer

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