A summary on BSE by the group DARK LIGHTS on the web-site for teachers and learners of English as a secondary language from a German point of view
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Summary about BSE

In 1985, cows in Great Britain began drooling and staggering. Some were pathologically nervous, other bizarrely aggressive. When the "mad cows" died, as they inevitably did, their brains were shot through with holes. The cattle got BSE from sheep and long before there were mad cows, there were mad sheep. Since at least the 18th century, some sheep in England and France suffered from a hidden, deadly brain disease and when scientists examined the brains of dead sheep, they saw spongelike holes. In their jargon-friendly way, they called the disease "spongiform encephalopathy" spongiform brain disease. Using the simple but unpalatable technique of injecting pureed brains of sick animals into healthy animals, scientists proved that scrapie could pass between animals from sheep to sheep, and from sheep to other livestock and lab animals. This meant "transmissible spongiform encephalopathy", or TSE.

Three people in France died of nvCJD, also presumably contracted by eating meat from diseased animals. More than 80 Britons have already died of eating mad-cow meat. Most probably got infected while their government was assuring the nation that the fearsome cow disease could not infect people.

On 31st January, after the detection of 25 mad cows, Germany announced plans to slaughter and destroy 400,000 elderly cows, which, due to the long incubation period, are most prone to the disease. Beef consumption in Germany plunged 50 percent since November, and 34 countries have banned German beef imports.

Beef sales have dropped in Spain, where 12 cows showed characteristic holes in their brains.

The mad cow disease has also appeared in Portugal, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and France.

Composed by the Dark Lights
Christina, Isabella, Melanie, Stefanie


<Click here and you will always get back to the table of contents>
Table of Contents
A summary on BSE by DARK LIGHTS HOMEback to the homepagePAGE back to the previous page back to
History of BSE
by DARK LIGHTS
go on to
Project BSE:
DARK LIGHTS: CJD
on to the next page