BSE and other Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies
Cattle, sheep and goats can be susceptible to a group of brain diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The best known of these diseases is BSE (mad cow disease) in cattle.
There are strict controls in place in the UK to protect people from BSE. The Food Standards Agency monitors these controls and publicises any breaches, as well as the actions taken to prevent further failures.
Although no sheep in the UK flock have been found to have BSE, there are a number of precautionary safety measures in place since it has been shown under laboratory conditions that sheep can be infected with BSE. The Agency continues to review and support research into TSEs in animal species used for food.
To view historical records from the BSE section of this website, please visit the BSE archives.