It fell foul of US regulators after the 1996 BSE outbreak, which the popular press christened Mad Cow Disease, with all exports to the lucrative market stopping abruptly.

Despite the lurid moniker, humans cannot contract ‘mad cow disease’, but may be prey to a variant, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), if they eat the nerve tissue (the brain and spinal cord) of infected cattle, which is fatal. However, it is very rare, affecting only one or two people in every million each year in the UK.

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