What Is Mad Cow Disease?
Today, the USDA announced that a dairy cow in California’s Central Valley tested positive for Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), otherwise known as mad cow disease. Mad cow disease is spread among cattle when their feed contains infectious material from other cattle or sheep, which get a similar disease called scrapie.
While the U.S. has strengthened some rules to protect the public from mad cow disease, they have not gone far enough. Practices are still allowed which can spread mad cow disease, such as allowing cows to eat waste from the floors of poultry houses, cattle blood, and processed leftovers from restaurants. Testing for the disease should also be expanded.