Bovine Spongiform Encephalophathy (BSE), also known as mad
cow disease, is first observed in the
). The first related case of BSE
occurred in February 1985. "Cow 133" died after suffering head
The first confirmed case of BSE is identified in the
Government officials ban the inclusion of meat and bone from
ruminant (grazing) animals into cattle feed. Ruminant animals are believed to
carry the prions that cause BSE.
The United States Department of Agriculture bans the
importation of ruminant animals from countries with confirmed BSE cases.
scientist Professor Richard Lacey calls for the slaughter of all BSE infected
herds in the
During the same period, the British agricultural minister declares that all
beef products are completely safe to eat, even appearing on television in a
commercial with his 4-year-old daughter eating a hamburger.
Out of 10 million cattle in
, more than 14,000 are confirmed to
United States Department of Agriculture bans at-risk by
products of ruminant origin from countries with BSE.
The United States Mad Cow Disease Surveillance Program
expands to include examination of brain tissue from downed cows.
The BSE epidemic reaches epic proportions in the
. Mad cow disease at its peak during
this period reached 1,000 new cases each week.
officials brought that figure down
to about 300 reported BSE cases by 1996.
than 155,000 cases of BSE are identified in the
. The disease in the
peaks between 1992-93 with a
reported 100,000 confirmed cases.
May 21, 1995
Stephen Churchill, 19, is the first known human death from
BSE. Three more
residents die that year from the disease.
March 20, 1996
British government officials confirm the suspicion of many
scientists, announcing a link between BSE and the Cruetzfeldt-Jacob disease,
which is a human form of BSE.
Aug. 4, 1997
The United States Food and Drug Administration establishes
regulations prohibiting the feeding of most mammalian proteins to ruminants.
A mother carrying the Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease gives birth
to a daughter in the
who also tests positive for the disease.
officials declare an emergency situation after four sheep in
tested positive for BSE related symptoms. The cause of the outbreak was
eventually traced back to feed purchased from
Nov. 23, 2000
The first case of BSE is confirmed in
Nov. 24, 2000
The first reported case of BSE is confirmed in
after the birth of two calves.
The first reported case of mad cow disease in
The cow was imported from
May 20, 2003
Canadian officials confirm a single case of BSE in a cow in
Sept. 11, 2003
Four months after BSE was identified in Alberta, Canada, the
United States allows for the shipment of beef products, lifting its original
ban. The shipment of live cattle is still not allowed.
Oct. 29, 2003
A 21-month-old bull is killed in Japan after testing
positive for BSE. It is the ninth cow killed in Japan since the illness was
discovered in 2001.
Dec. 9, 2003
United States government officials test tissue from a Mabton
Holstein dairy cow in Iowa after the downed animal is identified with potentially
having BSE at a rendering plant. The tissue is tested for mad cow disease. The
results of the tissue test sampling in Iowa prompts the samples to be sent to
the United Kingdom for BSE confirmation.
Dec. 23, 2003
United States Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman confirms
a suspected case of BSE, mad cow disease, near Mabton, Wa. Veneman says the
suspected case won't be confirmed until results are obtained after testing of
tissue samples in the United Kingdom. If confirmed, it would be the first case
of mad cow disease in the United States.
Dec. 25, 2003
A British laboratory confirms that the Mabton Holstein
suspected of contracting BSE is infected with the deadly disease.