France's agriculture ministry has confirmed a case of mad cow disease has been discovered in the northeastern region of Ardennes.
The case was identified last week during a test carried out on cattle older than 48 months, after they had been slaughtered.
The farm ministry said there was no risk to human health as all parts of the cow susceptible to being infected must be removed by slaughterhouses.
However, it said the outbreak was likely to affect French exports.
Mad cow disease, or BSE, has been linked to a brain-wasting disease in humans.