Definition of BSE noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˌbiː es ˈiː//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌbiː es ˈiː//
(informal mad cow disease) [uncountable] Animal farming, Ailments and diseases
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the abbreviation for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (a brain disease of cows that causes death) See related entries: Animal farming, Ailments and diseases Culture In the 1980s many British cows were found to have the disease, and thousands of them were destroyed. Scientists believe it was caused by feeding the cows with parts of sheep that had a similar disease (called scrapie), and that people can catch another similar disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), by eating the meat of cows with BSE. For a time in the 1990s many people stopped eating British beef, and many countries refused to import it.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: BSE