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Mad Cow Disease : Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) - Research Paper Example

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The name mad cow came from the aggressiveness that the cow exhibits in the later stages of the disease. According Ridgway (2001), BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), or most commonly referred to as the mad cow disease, is a…
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Mad Cow Disease : Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
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Download file to see previous pages The disease occurs between two and eight years old in the life of cattle.
A study done in UK suggested that the source of BSE is from cattle feed prepared from bovine tissues such as the brain and spinal cord contaminated by a BSE agent (Sarah & Lister, 2009). There has been a speculation on the agent causing the disease ranging from occurring in cattle, the carcasses of which get into the cattle food chain and enter into the food canal of sheep infected by the agents causing the disease.
According to Ira & Krull (2003), the cause of BSE is still not scientifically understood. Currently, there is an accepted theory attributing the disease to be caused by a modified form of protein. This protein changes into a harmful form that consequently damages the central nervous system of cattle. The reasons for the protein changing into a fatal form remain a misery to many scientists. The spread of the disease is through feeding the cattle with scrapie infected sheep products comprised of the bone and meat.
There exists strong evidence, which reinforces the assertion that, in the UK, the disease was amplified and spread due to feeding the cattle with infected feeds made from bovine meat and bones. TSE agents are believed to be resistant to heat, ultra violet light, normal sterilization processes, and radiation while normal disinfectants kill the strength of virus and bacteria. BSE is not a contagious disease; therefore, it cannot affect animals by direct contact (Lawrence & Dyckman, 2003).
According to researchers, BSE affects the brains, the trigeminal ganglia, tonsils, spinal Cord, and the small intestine of cattle (Robert & Robinson, 2005). The physical symptoms are changes in temperature, which include aggression, difficulty in rising, abnormal posture, decreased milk production and loss in body weight though the cattle are feeding a lot. The disease can only be tested using highly urbane laboratory equipment and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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