The mad cow disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathyor (BSE), is a brain-destroying disease among cattle and can also be transmitted to humans who eat beef infected with the agent, a rogue protein called a prion.
France has found an 'isolated' case of mad cow disease, its first occurrence since 2011, reported the agriculture ministry.
The ministry said, "The case of BSE had been detected in the northeastern region of the Ardennes, near the Belgian border. A suspected case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), detected in a five-year-old cow which died prematurely at a cattle farm in Ardennes, was confirmed on March 23 by the European Union reference laboratory."
The ministry also sought to reassure consumers. "The detection of this case has no impact for the consumer," it said.
BSE had sparked a scare in the 1990s when it was first found that it could also be transmitted to humans. The epidemic - of which Britain was the epicenter - was traced to the use of infected carcasses recycled for animal feed, prompting dozens of countries to strengthen veterinary controls.
The number of cases has plummeted, although isolated occurrences persist, according to a tally by the OIE.
In 2015, there were single cases in Canada, Ireland, Norway and Slovenia, as well as two cases in Britain, the OIE said on its website.