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A monkey born in Britain and sold to a zoo in France in 1986 has died of a CJD-like disease which it may have caught from its food, according to French research published tomorrow. The findings could be further evidence that there is a link between eating food contaminated with BSE, and the "new variant" of the degenerative brain disorder CJD, which has so far affected 12 people in the past three years.

A member of SEAC, the Government's advisory committee on BSE and CJD, said that the case was "another piece in the jigsaw" of data about a possible link. "It just pushes it a little further in the balance of probability." The report in the Lancet concerns a rhesus macaque, one of a pair born in Ramsgate Zoo in 1982 and sold to Montpellier zoo. Six years later, one of the monkeys became lethargic, moody, and withdrawn. Charles Arthur