11 June 1998
Has BSE infected sheep?

THE possibility that BSE may have infected sheep is one of the most pressing questions still facing the Spongiform Encephalopathies Advisory Committee (SEAC) which advises the Government, reports The Guardian.

American nobel-prize-winning scientist Stanley Prusiner said the search for a test to determine whether British sheep are infected with BSE is struggling for funding from the UK authorities.

Prof Prusiner, who discovered the prion protein thought to be behind BSE, fears infection may have been passed to sheep which ate the same meat and bone-meal as cattle. Infected meat and bone meal is thought to have caused the BSE epidemic in the first place.

SEAC will hear at a meeting next month the results of its first attempts to find BSE in sheep based on a survey of slaughtered animals.

  • The Guardian 11/06/98 page 10-12 (Online supplement)