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The lab

We should spare his neighbours' cattle until we know how prions destroy the nervous system

By John Maddox   May 1996

My neighbours in Wales have spent 20 years creating a well-bred herd of beef cattle which regularly wins the prizes at local and even national shows. Most of the animals would go in a cull of all cattle older than 30 months, yet there has not been a single case of BSE in the herd. Waiting to hear what the government decides to do, the family gets what cheer it can from reports that a trickle of cattle is changing hands at the local auction rings.

Disbelief in the danger to human beings from BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) is understandable.…

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