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Study Highlights Risk of BSE Infecting Rabbits and Dogs

18 February 2014

SPAIN – A Spanish research team has found that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) can transmit to other animals in the meat that they eat, meaning all mammalian proteins can potentially transmit BSE.

This is because of the unique adaptability of BSE prion proteins – the particles that cause BSE - and the retention of pathological features after transmission.

This is according to a report published in the Journal of Neuroscience which says any mammalian meat could pose a threat if fed to animals such as dogs or rabbits.

The study, carried out by Research Centre for Animal Health (CRESA), observed the adaptability of prion proteins and found they could transmit while maintaining characteristics of the original strain.

CRESA said the implications of the study are that a new level of caution is required when using the protein ‘of any protein derived from mammals’ in preparation feed.

The paper concluded : "It is strongly recommended that no mammalian species be fed with animal protein potentially contaminated with BSE to prevent a new epizootic and zoonosis of unknown consequences."

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

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