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Corvallis, OR, United States
My personal obsession with prion diseases with smidges of music I like and rescue dog advocacy from a disabled Oregonian.


July 2007 Mad Cow News

Japan lifts ban on California meatpacker

Japan lifted, according to this story, an export ban on a California meatpacker Wednesday imposed earlier this year after the company sent a shipment that appeared to violate restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of mad cow disease.
Japan's Agriculture and Health Ministries said in a joint statement that the ban was lifted on Jobbers Meat Packing Co. of Los Angeles after reviewing a U.S. Department of Agriculture report explaining the reasons for the error and the steps taken to correct it.

Source of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease outside United Kingdom

We studied the occurrence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) outside the United Kingdom in relation to the incidence of indigenous bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and to the level of live bovines and bovine products imported from the UK during the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s. Our study provides evidence that a country’s number of vCJD Link (link fixed)

FSIS publishes final rule prohibiting processing of "downer" cattle

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced a permanent prohibition on the slaughter of cattle that are unable to stand or walk ("downer" cattle) when presented for pre-slaughter inspection. The inability to stand or walk can be a clinical sign of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).
Under the rule, cattle that are injured after they pass pre-slaughter inspection will be reevaluated to determine their eligibility for slaughter. Veal calves that cannot stand because they are tired or cold may be set apart and held for treatment and re-inspection. Link

CDC Report Confirms R-CALF USA Expert’s Risk Analysis: Canadian Cattle have significantly higher BSE risks than U.S. cattle

From a press release

Billings, Mont. – Three years ago, R-CALF USA’s risk assessment expert Louis Anthony Cox, Jr., Ph.D., using available data from BSE testing in the United States and Canada, estimated that the prevalence rate of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Canada was greater than 5.5 cases per million head of adult cattle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently estimates the prevalence of BSE in the Canadian cattle herd is “26 fold higher” than in U.S. cattle. The CDC estimate is explained on its website at .
At least in part because of Cox’s estimate, the U.S. District Court – District of Montana (District Court), in March 2005, issued a preliminary injunction that blocked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from resuming imports of Canadian cattle and beef. However, USDA continued to ignore evidence of the risk of BSE in Canadian cattle and appealed the District Court’s decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (9th Circuit).
In July 2005, the 9th Circuit lifted the preliminary injunction, and USDA immediately allowed resumption of imports of Canadian cattle under 30 months of age (UTM).
However, Cox’s analysis also warned of two things: 1) The BSE prevalence rate in Canada appeared to be very significantly higher than the U.S. prevalence rate; and, 2) There was a “near statistical certainly” that resuming imports of cattle from Canada would, under current conditions, lead to some BSE cases being imported into the United States. USDA rejected these warnings, as well as those of many other experts on the disease, and has persisted in its efforts to fully restore imports of all Canadian cattle and beef. LINK (pdf)

FDA still pondering & pondering expanded BSE feed ban

It's been more than a year since FDA issued a proposal for an enhanced feed ban it says would reduce the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy by 90 percent, but the beef industry is still awaiting publication of a final rule.
"There is no estimated time frame for when a final rule will be published," FDA spokesman Michael Herndon told the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. "The agency is working to develop and issue a final rule as expeditiously as possible." Cattle Link

US beef on full-scale sale in SKorea next month

Almost all major South Korean retail chains are, according to this story, set to begin selling US beef next month despite protests by activists. Turkish Link

TENNESSEE: Local person diagnosed with deadly rare disease

Doctors at Johnson City Medical Center were cited as saying they treated a patient who has been diagnosed with the deadly disease Creutzselbt-Jakob, or CJD.
The story says that people in Mitchell County, North Carolina contacted WJHL, and a local newspaper Thursday afternoon about rumors a man in Buladean had Mad Cow Disease. No one has officially confirmed that the man in Buladean is the same man that was treated at Johnson city Medical Center, but rumors in the small town began to fly.
The story also confuses CJD and variant CJD disease when it says the disease comes from eating uncooked or under cooked neverous tissue, like brains of animals. Animal brains are often considered a delicacy in European countries. Topix Link

OTTAWA: Commercial feed named as cause of Canada's 10th case of mad cow; Fraser Valley Holstein likely infected at feed mill or during transportation

OTTAWA -- A report by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency released yesterday suggests, according to this story, that the mature dairy cow that became Canada's 10th case of mad cow disease was probably infected by commercial feed that it received after weaning.
The Holstein, which was destroyed earlier this year, had spent its entire life on the same dairy farm in the Fraser Valley.
It appeared to be lame a few weeks before calving, and after calving became unsteady, eventually losing its ability to walk at all.
Tests confirmed on May 2 that it was infected with BSE. Cattle Network Link (pdf)

INDONESIA to assess risks of U.S. beef and bone-meal imports

Indonesia's Agriculture Ministry is assembling a team to assess the risks of importing beef and bone meal from the United States, Indonesian news agency Antara reported.
Husbandry Director General Mathur Riady said the team would assess product from five U.S. companies, including Cargill, that had submitted applications to export beef and bone meal to Indonesia. The intent is to prevent cattle disease from entering the country, he said.
Indonesia imports up to 20,000 tons of beef and bone meal monthly, according to Riady. AZ Dept. of Ag Link

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