Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
BSE is a progressive neurological disorder of cattle; its symptoms are similar to a disease of sheep, called scrapie. BSE has been called "mad cow disease." BSE and scrapie both result from infection with a very unusual infectious agent. As of July 2000, more than 176,000 cases of BSE were confirmed in Great Britain in more than 34,000 herds of cattle. The epidemic peaked in January 1993 at almost 1,000 new cases per week. The outbreak may have resulted from the feeding of scrapie-containing sheep meat-and-bone meal to cattle. There is strong evidence and general agreement that the outbreak was amplified by feeding meat-and-bone meal prepared from cattle to young calves.