Cow Madness: Disease's U.S. emergence highlights role of feed ban | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Help us keep you informed.

Real Science. Real News.


News

Cow Madness: Disease's U.S. emergence highlights role of feed ban

By
8:45am, January 7, 2004

The first appearance in the United States of the cattle-killing ailment known as mad cow disease has rocked the beef industry and raised fears of an outbreak of a similar deadly brain disease in people. However, the threat to both people and animals in the United States remains low as long as the government enforces specific feed-processing and slaughter regulations, risk analysts say.

The most crucial safeguard, according to the researchers, is a ban put in place in 1997 that prohibits feeding potentially infective animal parts to cattle. That practice, which provided cheap protein for animal feed, is the main route of transmission of the misshapen proteins that cause mad cow disease, which is formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The proteins, called prions, may spread when animals consume brain, spinal cord tissue, bone particles, eyes, and small intestines of infec

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

[title_1]
From the Nature Index Paid Content