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Controversy over spread of Mad Cow disease from India

CJD and they can transform themselves into infectious agents. "Existing theories of the original causes of BSE, the bovine disease, we don't find convincing," Professor Colchester said. "We have identified the fact that a large amount of imported animal feeding material was brought into Britain during the period when BSE must first have occurred and the largest source coming to the UK was from the Indian subcontinent."

More than 150 people died during 1990’s due to infection of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and it is believed that the infection spread to these people after eating meat from infected cattle.

Importing animal feed containing contaminated animal and human bones have significant role in causing Mad cow disease outbreaks in cattle. The researchers say they doubt BSE resulted from scrapie because material infected with the disease has been fed to cattle for many decades without any sign of BSE arising.

Views of Professor Susaira Shankar, India:

Professor Susaria Shankar of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience [NIMHANS], Bangalore, in his commentary notes in a Journal has said though one case of Scrapie, occurred due to import of feed has been reported from the Himalayan Foothills. But still, "Scientists must proceed cautiously when hypothesising about a disease that has such wide geographic, cultural and religious implications," Professor Shankar says. "We agree that the idea proposed by the Colchesters needs to be probed further. Facts to support or refute their hypothesis now need to be gathered with urgency and great care."

World Health Organization Investigation:

Both the Indian and Britain scientists view should be investigated by WHO, before confirmation is reached regarding the cause of mad cow disease outbreak. Colchester said that the World Health Organization would be the best international body to coordinate further investigations.

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