US to put up barriers to BSE

The United States has announced steps to guard against any outbreak of BSE, or mad-cow disease, amongst its cattle herds.

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday proposed a ban on the recycling of waste protein from cows, sheep and other ruminants into animal feed. Scientists believe that mad-cow disease was first allowed to spread when remains of sheep infected with scrapie, a disease closely related to BSE, was fed to cattle.

The US has so far escaped the disease which has led to the mass slaughter of Britain's herds. There has been a US ban on imports of British beef since 1985 and on live cattle imports from Britain since 1989.

David Usborne - New York