Barcelona—Panic over the transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to humans who may unknowingly eat infected beef has spread across Europe after Spain and Germany reported their first indigenous cases in December 2000. France, where the zoonotic disease is now endemic, experienced a renewed outbreak in October.
The Spanish meat industry was severely affected within days of the announcement that two cases of BSE had been discovered in cattle in the country's northwestern region of Galicia. There was a drop of about 50% in beef sales and prices within Spain, and six countries ordered an immediate embargo on import of Spanish cattle.
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