Where did BSE originate?

There are various hypotheses as to where the disease BSE originated in cattle. There are however two leading hypotheses. The first suggests that the disease may be a variation of Scrapie – a disease in sheep, which has altered and ‘jumped’ species. The second hypothesis is that BSE has evolved from a spontaneous form of the disease which has occasionally been noted historically in cattle. However, the British Government enquiry which followed the outbreak of the disease took the view that the disease was not a form of Scrapie as hypothesised, but was caused by an unidentified event some time in the 1970s.

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