The USDA today confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a.k.a. mad cow disease, in a dairy cow in central California. According to the USDA, the animal's meat was never intended for human consumption and, to anticipate your next question, mad cow disease isn't transmitted through milk.
In its announcement, the USDA notes that cases of mad cow disease worldwide have decline dramatically:
Evidence shows that our systems and safeguards to prevent BSE are working, as are similar actions taken by countries around the world. In 2011, there were only 29 worldwide cases of BSE, a dramatic decline and 99% reduction since the peak in 1992 of 37,311 cases. This is directly attributable to the impact and effectiveness of feed bans as a primary control measure for the disease.
The USDA also found that this particular cow had a "very rare" form of the disease that, unlike most cases of mad cow disease, wasn't transmitted through the animal's feed.
So don't panic.
For an infinitely more charming cow-related story, let's travel to Colorado.
Here (via Eater) we find the story of Darcy, a dairy cow from a small family farm who escaped her pen because she apparently wasn't getting enough attention that particular day. Darcy the cow then wandered up to the drive-thru window of a nearby McDonald's.
Sadly, Darcy was turned into a hamburger that was served to its owners when they claim to reclaim her.
Kidding! Watch the damn news story. The ending is a happy one. Unless the cow is a cannibal desperately craving the flesh of its fellow cattle, in which case: Better luck next time, Darcy.