Mad Cow Disease Essay

816 words - 4 pages

Mad cow disease is a vile disease; there is a lot of data about the origin, effects, and symptoms that this article will talk about. One positive side from mad cow disease is that you cannot get it from eating steak or a hamburger etc. There is a deadly disease that humans get that is similar to mad cow disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, otherwise known as vCJD. When you acquire vCJD it is very likely that you will not even realize you have it until a couple years later and in some rare occasions it might take up to 15 years.
The origin of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is originated in Great Britain in 1986. The farmers first noticed that something was up when there cattle started acting funny. While farming in England is a splendid thing to do, soybeans, which are very good for your cattle, where not easily available to them. Soybeans did not grow very well in England so the farmers had to start buying an animal byproduct that was made with mixed meat and bones of cattle and sheep. This method caused the infected brains, nervous systems, and blood infected cattle to be fed to other cows, filling them with infected meat. More and more cows began to show the same symptoms so more and more cattle died. The more cattle died the more food for the other cows causing a huge epidemic. So England tried to take control of the situation and make the food for the cattle to undergo and intense heat and steam process trying to kill the prions in the meat. The BSE epidemic officially ended when all of the cattle herds that had it or was thought to have it were killed in a major genocide of cattle. Ever since then it has spread to almost two dozen other countries, including Canada and now the United States. It was discovered in the U.S.A. in 2004 by the USDA. Mad cow disease is a neurological disease of cows but results from infection by an unusual “agent” called a prion. BSE is an extremely fatal disease that you cannot get rid of even by heat. So far there is no cure for BSE other than killing the cow. The main gist of mad cow disease without getting into all the medical mumbo jumbo is the prion turns the cow’s brain into a sponge like object that has holes in it and eventually kills them. Mad cow...

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