As most health-scare experts know, Britain has quite a distinguished reputation in cultivating unique and rare forms of diseases in its green and pleasant land.
A particularly British farmyard disease is BSE, thought to have become prevalent in cattle after, for some strange, unpredictable reason, the cows did not react too well to having be forced to consume the dried remains of other cows.
Unlike Foot and Mouth, or Swine Fever, a growing catalogue of evidence was starting to strongly point the fact BSE could pass the species barrier and infect human beings - via dodgy hamburgers.
And so many cows were slaughtered to eradicate this nasty disease and in 1995 tests were begun to see if cows could pass BSE to sheep. The Government stated that if any evidence was found they'd also slaughter the entire sheep population of Great Britain.
It took six years of dedicated research, and millions upon millions of pounds into coming to a conclusion.
The heart-stopping, earth-shaking, conclusion was this:
Cows could pass BSE to sheep.
As the Government grimly prepared to release the news, and gear up the abattoirs for the British sheep holocaust - No I'm not a vegetarian, I love lamb kebabs - somebody in the lab, thought it might be a wise idea just to double-check all the factors involved. And so they did, you know, just in case.
Surprisingly they came to a different conclusion about the nature of their sheep brains.
The revised conclusion was this :
They weren't researching sheep brains.
They were researching cows brains.
Although the sheep were mightily relieved (at least, for a while), the British Government was rather embarrassed, as you would be after wasting £millions, and six years of life and death research just because you didn't know the important (need I say fundamental?) difference between cow and sheep brains.