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Illinois Gets Grant To Fund Mad Cow Prevention

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Illinois can continue efforts to prevent mad cow disease in cattle with nearly $500,000 from the federal government.

The funding, announced this week, will help state regulators inspect farms and test cattle feed during the next two years. The Food and Drug Administration program enforces a ban on certain types of feed products.

Illinois expects to conduct 400 inspections and 1,000 feed tests with the money.

Scientists believe the brain-wasting disease spreads when farmers feed cattle recycled body parts from infected animals. The U.S. banned many such products from feed in 1997, following an epidemic in cattle in the United Kingdom. An expansion of the ban takes effect next year.

In humans, a rare form of the disease has been linked to eating meat from infected cattle.