Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), sometimes referred to as "mad cow disease", is a chronic degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of cattle. A system of interlocking safeguards protects human and animal health, as well as food safety, in the United States.
- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) BSE News and Issues
- Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) BSE Resources
Through applied research and developing technology, USDA helps to reduce economic losses of the livestock and poultry industries and the associated rural agricultural community from infectious, genetic, and metabolic diseases. This new technology also is aimed at prevention of suffering and death caused by diseases in agriculturally important livestock and poultry.
- Animal Health Surveillance
- Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory
- National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS)
- National Animal Disease Center
- National Veterinary Services Laboratories
Animal Well-Being and Stress Management
Consumers are concerned not only with characteristics such as the nutritive content of animal products, but also want assurances that food animals are raised in humane conditions and receive humane treatment during handling and slaughter. USDA tracks animal health and welfare issues as they relate to food safety and the production and availability of animals for processing into meat.
The Center for Veterinary Biologics regulates veterinary biologics, such as vaccines, bacterins, antisera, diagnostic kits, and other products of biological origin to ensure its safety and effectiveness.
Animal Health Research
USDA is continuously conducting animal health research and monitoring to protect threats to our Nation's food supply economy.