Sheep believed to be infected with a brain-wasting illness related to mad cow disease will pass through Ohio and other states this week on their way to an Iowa government laboratory where they will be destroyed and tested.
The 350 sheep from a farm near Montpelier, Vt. will pass through northern Ohio on Interstate 80. Health officials said that as long as the animals are simply passing through, there should be no threat to human or animal health.
Sixty-five of the sheep were imported from Belgium in 1996 before such imports were banned as a precaution against mad cow disease. Last July, four of the quarantined animals died and were diagnosed with transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.
Officials believe the sheep were infected while still in Europe.