How is BSE Spread?
Preventing the Entry of BSE
What are the Signs of BSE?
The U.S. Feed Ban
What is Bovine Spongiform
Compliance Within California
BSE has an incubation period of 2 to 8 years. Signs
begin with changes in temperament, such as
nervousness or aggression. Cattle become
progressively uncoordinated and lose condition
despite continued appetite. There is no treatment -
affected cattle die 2 weeks to 6 months after the
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
banned importation of live ruminants and most rumi-
nant products from BSE affected countries in July
1989. In December 2000, the USDA banned the
importation of all rendered animal products from
Europe, regardless of species. If you have knowl-
edge of the illegal importation of animals or animal
products or the feeding of prohibited materials,
please call the appropriate numbers listed on this
Surveillance began in 1990 and consists of
examining brain tissue from cattle showing
neurological signs and a targeted sample of high
risk cattle. More than 2,200 brain samples from
California and 20,526 samples nationwide were
examined for BSE during 2003.
All feed-manufacturing facilities in California have
been inspected and are compliant with the feed
ban. As of December 2003, 99% of the feed-
manufacturing facilities in the U.S. are in
compliance with these requirements.
What Causes BSE?
Surveillance for BSE in the U.S.
Cattle producers are key in preventing
BSE in the U.S. by ensuring that feed
containing rendered mammalian tissues
is NOT fed to ruminants.
A new human disease known as variant CJD (vCJD),
first diagnosed in the U.K. in 1996, has claimed
153 human lives to date. Most scientific evidence
supports that vCJD is caused by the same agent
that causes BSE. Evidence suggests that the BSE
agent may have been transmitted from cattle to
man through the consumption of products
contaminated with the infectious agent.
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is a fatal
neurological disease of c