The results of further epidemiological studies of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) support the previous findings that the onset of exposure of the cattle population to a scrapie-like agent, sufficient to result in clinical disease, occurred in 1981/82. The onset of this exposure was related to the cessation, in all but two rendering plants, of the hydrocarbon solvent extraction of fat from meat and bone meal. A further possible explanation, related to the geographical variation in the reprocessing of greaves to produce meat and bone meal, was identified for the geographical variation in the incidence of BSE.
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