Introduction

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, is a progressive, fatal disease of the nervous system of cattle. It is a member of a family of diseases known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE). Although the exact cause of BSE is unknown, it is associated with the accumulation of abnormal or misfolded proteins in the brain of cattle. There is no BSE treatment or vaccine currently available for animals.

For information on BSE and how to report, see the Overview.