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BSE and CJD: Chronology of a crisis


It was in 1986 that "mad cow disease" or BSE was first identified in cattle. Ten years later the then Conservative government announced the news that the disease had jumped the species barrier to humans.

The government admitted that the strange new brain disease vCJD was probably linked to BSE. It seemed possible that victims had caught the disease by eating meat from BSE infected cattle.

A special BSE Inquiry was set up in 1998 to investigate the public health scandal. Its report - due to be released on 26 October - is expected to cast new light on what went wrong during this crucial decade.

BBC News Online traces the crisis from the mid 1980s. Click on the links to follow the developments.

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