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Japanese officials have confirmed the sixth and seventh cases of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), that have occurred in that country.

In September 2001, Japan became the first country outside Europe to find an infected cow within its borders; a month later, it began screening all cattle destined for human consumption.

Mad cow disease is believed to have spread through cattle feed containing the meat and bones of infected animals, and is thought to cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is fatal to humans.

Japan has banned the use of meat-and-bone meal as cattle feed, and infected cows are incinerated.
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