Mad Cow Disease

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy


The first comfirmed animal to fall ill of this disease happened in 1986 in the U.K. and in the lab tests the fallowing year indicated the appearence of BSE; and by Nov. 1987 the British Ministry of Agriculture accepted it had a new disease. 165 people acquired and died from "Mad cow" with similar neurological symptoms call variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)An estimated 400,000 cattle infected with BSE entered the humen food chain in the 1980's. Although the BSE epizootic was eventually brought under control by culling all suspect cattle population, people are still being diagmosed with vCJD each year (dropped to fewer than five per year)

More about

Who does it effect?

It effects sheep, goats, cows (obviously), and humans; these were the only recorded cases.


  • apprehension and nervous disposition
  • excessive sensitivity to stimuli (light, noise, touch)
  • manic kicking when milked
  • occasional aggression directed at other cattle or humans
  • swaying gait, sometimes with high stepping of the feet, particularly the hind legs
  • difficulties in walking or getting up
  • loss of condition, weight or milk yield


  • Avoid feed with mammalian protein - Primary way of getting "Mad Cow"
  • Follow the Food & Drug Administration's ban on imports - The FDA doesn't allow feed or live animals to be imported with documented cases
  • Test cattle regularly for early detection - So it doesn't spread to the other cattle if one has it