An immediate and urgent inquiry was being launched last night after a group of walkers stumbled across the carcasses of two cows buried in an “irregular” manner in the area of Son Servera, according to the Balearic Ministry for Agriculture. The ministry yesterday ordered the carcasses to be exhumed and part of the spine removed for testing. It was also confirmed last night that, in accordance with the new rules and regulations introduced because of the mad cow crisis, the exhumed carcasses have been doused in the required disinfectant and taken to be buried in an area away from water and carnivores. The Guardia Civil Nature Protection Service along with the Son Servera council were both informed of the discovery, and are investigating the origin of the carcasses and the circumstances of death. The first shipment of Balearic beef carcases and discarded cattle waste was yesterday shipped to the mainland where the load will be incinerated. Balearic Minister for Agriculture Mateu Morro also announced that a programme to test all Balearic cattles for mad cow is being devised and that an extremely strict quality control programme for all Balearic beef destined for human consumption is to be introduced, in full compliance with the European Union and Spanish government regulations. Morro said that a team of volunteer experts and vets are to be contracted to carry out the regional cattles tests and the service will be offered free of charge to all cattle farmers. The minister also revealed yesterday that the Balearic government is to have eight more vets dedicated to the local cattle industry at its disposal. He said that while a team of vets have been testing cattle for the past two months, a new team is needed to test meat on sale. He added that as the situation stands at the moment, no cattle can go to slaughter without the required veterinary certificates. However, not only does it appear that the suspect mad cow case in Minorca, was bred on the island, it has also been revealed that the possibly infected cow has had six calves which may also be infected by mad cow disease and the Zaragoza laboratory carrying out the tests fears that the calves may have been introduced into the food chain. The laboratory, which is carrying out the test on the suspected Minorca case, said that the results will be known today.

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