Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Environmental Science and Policy

Major Professor

Andrew T. Price-Smith.

Co-Major Professor

John Daly


Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Prion, Ruminant, Downer animal, Specified risk materials


Despite existing mad cow disease surveillance efforts in the United States, in place since the 1980s, a cow that tested positive for mad cow disease was granted entrance into the U.S. in December, 2003. The cow that tested positive, according to witnesses, displayed no symptoms that are synonymous with advanced bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE. This occurrence had detrimental effects on the U.S. beef export market, as many countries banned American beef. Estimates of the damage inflicted reach into the billions of dollars. BSE in the U.S. has the potential of causing damages in other aspects as well. Aside from the fact that BSE is a public health issue, it has caused political rifts between nations, particularly between Canada and the U.S. It can undermine confidence in the USDA and confidence in the governments ability to handle emergencies. BSE can imperil American good that contain beef or beef products.