Monday, February 23, 2009

Mad Cow Cows

Infected adult cattle may develop signs of the disease slowly. It may take from 2 to 8 years from the time an animal becomes infected until it first shows signs of disease. Symptoms in the animal include a change in attitude and behavior, gradual uncoordinated movements, trouble standing and walking, weight loss despite having an appetite, and decreased milk production. Eventually the animal dies. From the onset of symptoms, the animal deteriorates until it either dies or is destroyed (cattle who cannot stand are called “downers”). This disease process may take from 2 weeks to 6 months.

1 comment:

John Latto said...

The worrying fact is that most steers that are sent to feed lots (ie most of our beef) are slaughtered around one year to a year and a half old. So IF there is BSE infection most cattle will enter the human food chain before they ever show symptoms.