Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), scrapie and Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (CJD) are different forms of the same syndrome in cattle, sheep and humans, respectively. The disease causes irreversible damage to the brain and spinal cord. BSE first appeared in the UK in 1986, in cattle that were fed recycled sheeps brains infected with scrapie. The UK Ministry of Agriculture claims that infections cannot be transmitted from animals to humans by eating red meat. Infected cattle brain and spinal cord routinely went into sausages, pies, stock cubes, and patÃ©s in the UK between 1986 and 1989, when a ban on putting suspected offals into human food was imposed. Calves' brains are still permitted to be used in such preparations. Whilst CJD is regarded as a rare disease of the aged, there are two known cases in young women in the UK, both meat eaters, and two recent deaths of dairy farmers.