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BSE and CJD: Chronology of a crisis

1997: Beef on the bone ban

22 December
An official inquiry into the BSE crisis is announced
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A selective cull of cattle most risk from BSE is introduced in an effort to convince the EU to lift the export ban on British beef.

A BSE forum of vets, local authorities, scientists and civil servants is set up in order to develop an integrated approach to all the BSE controls that have been brought in.

Government researchers conclude that there is “some evidence” of direct maternal transmission of BSE.

In June the government announces a new computerised cattle tracing system.

New scientific research in September also identifies a link between BSE and the vCJD. Relatives of CJD victims sign an open letter published in the New Statesman in which they call for a public judicial inquiry into BSE.

In December the sale of beef on the bone is banned in the UK. The BSE Inquiry is set up to "reveal the events and decisions which led to the spread of CJD and BSE".

BSE cases: 4,393
vCJD deaths: 10

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