Mad ostriches

September 1991
New Scientist;9/21/91, Vol. 131 Issue 1787, p20
The article reports on the discovery of a condition known as "mad cow disease"or BSE in birds. The discovery, by German vets from the University of Hannover, widens the range of animals known to be susceptible to this type of disease. Three red-necked ostriches from zoos in northern Germany were killed and subjected to postmortems after showing signs of nervous disease. All had the characteristic spongy holes in the brain which occur in cattle suffering from BSE. Whether the birds contracted the disease from feed made from the carcases of other affected animals-the supposed cause of the disease in British cattle-is so far unclear.


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