Slovakia's fifth case of mad cow disease surfaced on Friday, three months after the country became the second central European state to discover the brain-wasting affliction, a state veterinarian said.
Vets confirmed BSE during a mandatory test on a six-year-old, domestically bred animal slaughtered at a central Slovak farm, the head of the State Veterinarian Director's Office, Martin Chudy, said.
Slovakia's first cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) appeared earlier this autumn, just weeks after the neighbouring Czech Republic discovered eastern Europe's first two cases.
"Now we have to close the farm, identify (genetically related) groups of animals and wait for the result of the final tests, which should come on Tuesday," Chudy told Reuters.
He also said vets were investigating how the animal contracted the disease.
BSE has spread in herds in Britain, France and other European countries. It has also been found in Japan.
Scientists believe it is transmitted through infected meat and bone meal fed to cattle and could cause variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) in humans.
More than 100 people have died from vCJD since the mid-1990s, most in Britain.
Slovakia has not registered any cases of the human form of the disease.