Mad cow disease
Mad cow disease is also known scientifically as Bovine spongiform encephalopathy. It is a dangerous disease that severely affects the infected cow’s brain and spinal cord. Mad cow disease incubation period is about 3 to 8 years and usually affect fully grown cows (Ridgway 23).
The disease can easily be transmitted to humans if parts of the infected meat are ingested. The infected meat though concentrated in the brain and the spinal cord can also be infected through the blood of an infected cow. The disease is known as Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (vCJD or nvCJD).
The Mad cow disease is more prevalent in Britain where 166 people had died by the year 2009. The high death rate in Britain is due to commercial farming where cattle which are natural herbivores are fed with feeds prepared from meat leftovers and meat from infected animals.
In the United States the public is more confident with the government regarding this issue despite the rather weak measures against manufacturing animal feeds from animal products. Prior to the discovery of the cow in Washington, there were no stringent measures taken against this practice but the policies have since been revised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). USA also produces plenty of soy bean meal that serves as the protein supplement for farm animals. Animal products are rather expensive and thus the farmers prefer to use the plant proteins (United States 45). The government though is still under pressure especially from large agri-businesses who are mostly affected by the measures taken to prevent BSE. As a result, the government has reduced the intense screening of cattle for BSE though no cases are being reported of the variant disease in human beings.
The most basic means of controlling the disease is banning the production of animal feeds from meat from other animals and instead use the plant proteins especially the abundant soy beans.
Ridgway, Tom. Mad Cow Disease: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. New York :The Rosen
Publishing Group, 2001. Print.
United States. Mad cow disease improvements in the animal feed ban and other regulatory areas
would strengthen U.S. prevention efforts : report to congressional requesters. Pennsylvania: DIANE Publishing, 2004. Print.