BSE is the most recent major animal TSE to be discovered — scrapie first was described in Great Britain in 1732 and chronic wasting disease in North American cervids was first observed in 1967, but was not diagnosed as a TSE until 1978. BSE as a potentially novel neurological disease of cattle was first observed in 1984 when cattle on a farm in Sussex, England, began exhibiting unusual behavior. However, the disease was not fully described until November 1986 following a postmortem study of an affected cow at the Central Veterinary Laboratory at Weybridge, U.K. It is most likely that the epidemic, at least in the form of infected cattle that may not have shown clinical signs, started a decade or so earlier

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