Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is an incurable and deadly neurodegenerative disease affecting cattle. Commonly known as mad cow disease, its symptoms include abnormal behavior, trouble walking and weight loss. Its symptoms are seen only after around 4 to five years after the infection. If it spreads to humans, it is believed to cause Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD).
Brazil confirmed two cases of mad cow disease recently. The Brazilian government banned beef exports to China as per the existing bilateral agreement between the two countries. The south American nation is the world?s largest exporter of beef, with China being its largest market. More than 50% of the country?s beef exports goes to China and Hong Kong.