A new case of mad cow disease has been reported in Minorca, bringing the total of cases registered in the Balearics over the past year up to ten. The news was announced by the Balearic ministry of agriculture, which did not reveal the name of the farm, although it said it had been isolated. Eight of the ten mad cow cases registered in the Balearics so far have been in Minorca and two in Majorca. In November 2001, the mad cow crisis caused a wave of panic among consumers throughout Spain, and particularly in the islands. The panic forced butchers to remove all beef products from their showcases. Restaurants were also hit, finding that there was little demand for beef. The local authorities fought back with extensive advertising campaigns, pointing out that local beef was slaughtered at less than 12 months old, before the disease developed. Certificates were issued to show that the beef was from animals which were born and bred on the islands. The scare led to the introduction of alternatives to beef such as ostrich meat, which did not win over many consumers, because of the high price. Consumers had been regaining their confidence in beef, but this confidence is likely to suffer a setback with the latest discovery of a new case in Minorca.


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