1

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Safety of sheep or goat brains?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 06, 2011 at 8:50 PM

So far as I can tell, there seem to be no recorded cases of "mad sheep" or "mad goat" disease (prion growth, you know what I mean...), but I wanna make doubly sure with everyone. Does anyone have any data on this, or are we to believe that goat and sheep prions do not continue growing inside human bodies? Thanks.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on May 20, 2011
at 10:30 PM

I agree that "you never know", hey there could be some Hannibal Lecter character feeding his victims' remains to his goats. But in general goats are pastured -- they're the ultimate pasture feeder, and also aren't well suited for the factory ranches. I think the same is true to a lesser extent of sheep. I'd feel a lot more comfortable eating the nasty bits from goat or sheep than factory-raised beef, though I'm sure there is some small element of risk.

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on May 07, 2011
at 02:15 AM

According to some websites, there seem to be occurrences of prions even in grass-fed and wild animals, though I'm not sure if anyone has gotten mad cow disease from those. But like I said, people in New Guinea get the equivalent of the disease from wild brains too. Mostly my question is about scrapies from sheep and goats, of which there don't seem to be recorded cases. Just double-checking that.

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2 Answers

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1
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on May 20, 2011
at 11:19 PM

Sheep and goats can catch as prion disease similar to mad cow disease. This is called Scrapie. It has been known since the 18th Century and effects sheep in Europe and North America.

An atypical form of scrapie has recently been identified due to the intensive testing now carried out link.

Scrapie has not been known to infect humans.

The scrapie prions are thought to be transmitted through the feces and/or saliva of the of the sheep and are ingested by the sheep eating the contaminated grass. There is also evidence that it can also be spread through the milk of infected ewes to their lambs.

It is theoretically possible for sheep to catch mad cow disease however this has not been found to occur in UK sheep link. Two cases of mad cow disease have been found in goats link. This is thought to be from being fed infected cattle products that should no longer happen.

2
Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on May 06, 2011
at 08:59 PM

I think these nervous tissue diseases come from the practice of feeding ground up nervous tissue to cows in their grain feed on these large industrialized cattle ranches. It's a practice that has been banned by the FDA, but obviously the fear is that it is still happening because FDA regulation enforcement is ... less than confidence-inspiring.

With goats or sheep, as long as you can be reasonably sure they aren't being turned into involuntary cannibals, I think you are pretty safe.

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on May 07, 2011
at 02:15 AM

According to some websites, there seem to be occurrences of prions even in grass-fed and wild animals, though I'm not sure if anyone has gotten mad cow disease from those. But like I said, people in New Guinea get the equivalent of the disease from wild brains too. Mostly my question is about scrapies from sheep and goats, of which there don't seem to be recorded cases. Just double-checking that.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on May 20, 2011
at 10:30 PM

I agree that "you never know", hey there could be some Hannibal Lecter character feeding his victims' remains to his goats. But in general goats are pastured -- they're the ultimate pasture feeder, and also aren't well suited for the factory ranches. I think the same is true to a lesser extent of sheep. I'd feel a lot more comfortable eating the nasty bits from goat or sheep than factory-raised beef, though I'm sure there is some small element of risk.

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