Bovine spongiform encephalopathy Update
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Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a zoonosis being the origin of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and an important cattle disease in its own right. Countries have been slow to learn the importance of protecting, not only their cattle populations, but also their human populations. Since 2000, several additional European countries have reported BSE in native-born stock and this has led to a concern about the BSE status of countries that have imported cattle and cattle products from infected countries. Extensive feed and offal bans and application of newly-developed, ?Rapid? tests for prion protein in central nervous tissue of targeted, high-risk animals and slaughter cattle over 30 months old now provides the tools whereby the public are fully protected and BSE can be eradicated.
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R. Bradley, Veterinary Laboratories Agency, New Haw, Addlestone, KT15 3NB, United Kingdom