The Mongolia Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry is reporting two cases of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the northern Darkhan-Uul Province, according to a Xinhua report. Officials have been instructed to take all necessary measures to prevent the disease from spreading to other places. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), BSE is a progressive neurological disorder of cattle that results from infection by an unusual transmissible agent called a prion. The nature of the transmissible agent is not well understood. Currently, the most accepted theory is that the agent is a modified form of a normal protein known as prion protein. For reasons that are not yet understood, the normal prion protein changes into a pathogenic (harmful) form that then damages the central nervous system of cattle. Mongolia has experienced frequent outbreaks of livestock animal diseases such as mad cow disease and the foot-and-mouth disease that has taken a toll on its meat exports.