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Trends Microbiol. 2002 Dec;10(12):563-70.

BSE - a wolf in sheep's clothing?

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  • 1Institute for Animal Health, Compton Laboratory, Newbury, Berkshire, UK RG20 7NN.


The entire sheep flock in the UK has been threatened with slaughter if BSE is found in farmed sheep, largely on the grounds that an epidemic of BSE in sheep could be harder to contain than was the case for cattle, and that lamb could present a greater risk to consumers than beef. However, identifying BSE in a sheep is not straightforward, because of its similarities to the related disease, scrapie. Here, we review the likelihood that any UK sheep have BSE, how they might have got it, how a case could be identified and what the Government is doing in terms of surveillance and possible control methods.

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