Describing Mad Cow Disease
Conditions > Describing Mad Cow Disease
Mad Cow disease was first heard of nationally in the 1980’s when in Great Britain there was an outbreak of Mad Cow disease that caused the death and destruction of over 190,000 animals. Mad Cow disease is also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and is a disease in cattle that causes the degeneration and breakdown of the brain. Studies show that when the meat from a diseased animal is fed to another animal that Mad Cow disease can spread to the healthy animal. This also applies to humans and which is why when there is a Mad Cow disease outbreak that the importing of animal protein from suspected animals is banned. Studies show that if humans consume meat that is tainted with Mad Cow disease that they can develop Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, although these same studies show that the risk is low.
The United States government has put many precautions into place to prevent the spread of Mad Cow disease during an outbreak. The United States Department of Agriculture works closely with the departments of other countries to ensure that the spread of Mad Cow disease is carefully monitored and controlled. During an outbreak of Mad Cow disease elsewhere in the world, the United States government has banned the importation of meat, beef in particular, from other countries. There is also a restriction on the type of animal feed products that are fed to cattle and other animals in the United States.
There are many programs in place throughout North America to educate the public, farmers, and veterinarians about Mad Cow disease and the implications that come along with it. If there are any possible cases respected individuals are required to report their suspicions to the USDA so that proper steps can be taken to conduct tests and research. If there is an outbreak of Mad Cow disease there are other laws that will be set in place to ensure that sick animals are prevented from entering the country in an attempt to stop the spread of Mad Cow disease throughout America.