What is the effect of the Mad Cow Disease on the world economy? It is huge. Outbreak in Europe destroyed the beef industry in great Britain. In 1992 over 37,000 cows that are infected were found. That was about 1% of cattle in Great Britain. Farmers thought that it would not be as bad as they thought. They destroyed infected animals and for the next few years number of infected cows got lower and lower. Everyone thought that it would be OK. But than in 1995 scientists connected the BSE with human disease called new variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease. Everyone in Europe panicked because this meant that people who eat beef mat get sick. In England people started to eat less and less beef. By the end of 1996 people ate 30% less beef ! Many countries around the world stopped taking beef from Great Britain, so the farmers could not sell their beef. They produced 40% less beef. At this time more than 130,000 people worked in beef industry. British government tried to save this industry. They made many laws to protect people and help economy. They made a law to make sure that no cows older than 30 months were eaten by humans. Instead they were killed. This way they killed 1.3 million cattle in Britain! Next, government helped farmers by giving subsidies. Subsidy is when government helps make up what farmers lost. At the end, more than 45,000 people lost jobs as a result of the Mad Cow Disease. Many businesses were destroyed and had to fire people. The whole economy of country was damaged.
It is easy to see how BSE can destroy economy. In 1986 Mad Cow was found in cows in other European countries, Israel and Japan, and lately in Canada .After cows with Mad Cow Disease were found in other countries, more cattle were slaughtered and more people lost their jobs. In addition, good source of food was lost. This summer the first case of Mad Cow Disease was found in Washington State in the USA. That was scary for everyone. Americans eat a lot of beef. Every year Americans spend more than 1 billion dollars on beef. Each American spends almost $200 every year for beef. American beef industry earns more than 175 billion dollars a year . USA is the biggest beef producer in the world! American beef industry was already having problems because of the infected cows found in Canada. Canada lost billions of dollars because of it, but USA also had problems because people probably realized how easy it is to transfer Canadian cows to the USA. When the news of the infected cow reached people everyone was scared. The next day many countries around the world banned beef from the USA. This was very bad for beef industry in the USA.
BSE or Mad Cow Disease can be a huge problem for economy. So what can we do about it. One of the things that can be done is to make governments make laws that all cows have to be tested. This way we can know what cow is sick. That means we can still eat beef and be safe. Another thing to do is organic beef. Organic beef is usually produced on small farms. Farmers there know exactly where their cows are from, so they can make sure that they are not from countries that have BSE. That is what happened with cow in Washington - it was bought from part of Canada that had BSE! Organic beef is safer because organic farmers do not give feed with animal parts to cows. Instead they take them to the pasture to graze. After the Canadian Mad Cow, organic beef sales doubled.