From that article:
|The low-incidence epidemic of spongiform encephalopathy in domestic cats (FSE) has allowed an epidemiological study, but the small number has precluded analytical approaches. A standard epidemiological questionnaire has been used for the FSE cases. Analysis of these data have revealed a widespread geographical distribution and a similar clinical duration and mean age at clinical onset as for BSE. Suspected clinical cases of FSE are not statutorily notifiable, but analyses have indicated that a major epidemic has not gone undetected. The true peak annual incidence was probably of the order of 14 cases per million cats QW. Wilesmith, unpublished findings). Investigations of the possible source and means of infection of cats suggest that commercially produced cat food is the most likely source. The legislation introduced in September 1990 banning the use of SBOs (considered likely to contain the highest concentration of the BSE agent) in any animal feedstuffs would have prevented further exposure (HMSO, 1990). In addition, the pet food industry had already instituted a voluntary ban on the use of high risk tissues in 1989. These bans have been effective, as the incidence began to decline during 1996 and 1997 QW. Wilesmith, G.A.H. Wells and J.B.M. Ryan, unpublished findings). There has only been one case of SE in a cat born after the statutory ban - infection may have resulted from the relatively long shelf-life of canned products (introduced before the ban).
Items of note:
Peak annual incidence (the worst the odds ever were): 14 cases per million
domestic cats. I realize that doesn't make it any better for those 14 cats, but statistically that rate of instances is 0.0014% of the population. And that was when the instances were at it's worst.
By 1989 commercial cat food producers had volunarily banned the likely sourse, in 1990 legislature was passed banning it. It states, "These bans have been effective, as the incidence began to decline during 1996 and 1997." This statement is corraborated by the statistics posted in the first link, which showed a total of 74 clinically diagnosed cases from 1990 through 1996, of which 49 of the 74 cases were from 1990 through 1993.
FSE has only been found in the UK and Europe, the countries where BSE was first found and generally prior to bans currently in place concerning commercial (and human grade) meat products.
FSE is also mentioned at this website: http://www.bseinfo.org/dsp/dsp_locat...ocationId=1259
at the bottom of the page in the box of information.