This summary gives the overview of the agencies' response to the potential of the spread of BSE. "Introduction : USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for ensuring the health and care of animals and plants...USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for protecting the Nation's meat and poultry supply--making sure it is safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged. These two agencies have come together to lead USDA's actions in the prevention, monitoring, and control of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the U.S. livestock and food supply. The public knows BSE as "mad cow disease," a disease linked to human cases of new-variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD). USDA knows BSE as the disease that devastated the livestock industry in the United Kingdom and shattered consumer confidence in Europe. BSE has affected international trade and all aspects of the animal and public health communities...No case of BSE has ever been found in the United States. Since 1989, USDA has had a number of stringent safeguards in place to prevent BSE from entering the country. USDA conducts an ongoing, comprehensive interagency surveillance program for BSE. This surveillance program allows USDA to monitor actively for BSE to ensure immediate detection in the event that BSE were to be introduced into the United States. Immediate detection allows for swift response. As an emergency preparedness measure, USDA has developed this BSE Response Plan to be initiated in the event that a case of BSE is diagnosed in the United States. The Plan details comprehensive instructions for USDA staff as to who is to do what, when, where, and how in the event that BSE were to be diagnosed in the United States."