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From: TSS ()
Subject: producer population refuse to participate in animal disease study
Date: October 28, 2005 at 6:26 pm PST

TEXAS PLAYING WITH FIRE, ALL FOR A BUCK, MULA THAT IS $ NOT THE CERVID, producer population refuse to participate in animal disease study

Oct. 28, 2005
Animal Disease Study Researchers Renew Request for Producer Participation
Writer: Paul Schattenberg, (210) 467-6575,
Contact: Dr. Bo Norby, (979) 845-3135,
Dr. Brandon Dominguez, (979) 845-4194,

COLLEGE STATION – The initial phase of a new animal disease study has begun, but more producer participation is needed, said a researcher from the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense at Texas A&M University.

The study, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, will focus on the control and prevention of foreign and emerging diseases in cloven-hoofed animals, such as beef cattle, swine, sheep, goats and deer.

"Beginning mid-September, we mailed more than 500 surveys to producers and operators in a nine-county area of Central Texas, requesting information vital to our research," said Dr. Bo Norby, primary investigator for the study. "So far, only a little more than 90 of the surveys have been filled out and returned."

Researchers are asking those who received the survey to fill it out and return it by mid-November so the study can proceed on schedule. Surveys have been sent to producers in Uvalde, Medina, Bandera, Real, Edwards, Kinney, Maverick, Zavala and Frio counties. Participants are asked to provide operational information such as acreage, number of animals, property characteristics and number of employees.

"It's very important that we get as many responses as possible from these producers," said Norby. "They are closest to the situation and can provide the most valuable data from which to learn about how animal diseases may be transmitted."

Animal disease outbreaks, such as the 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom, are cause for concern from both a social and economic standpoint, he said.

"The foot-and-mouth outbreak cost the agriculture industry in the U.K. more than $5 billion," he said. "And while very different, BSE, more commonly called ‘mad cow disease' and the recent concern with avian flu also demonstrate the importance of getting the best possible data for analyzing and preventing the spread of animal diseases."

A follow-up survey has been sent to producers who responded, Norby said.

"This second survey asks for additional information related to where their livestock came from and the livestock travel distance to and from their ranches," he said. "It will only take five to 10 minutes to fill in."

The study will help us determine the frequency of animal contact, the density and distribution of animal populations, seasonal changes in livestock management and other possible factors in disease transmission, Norby added.

"That way we can produce better disease models and more effective methods of prevention and control," he said.

For more information, producers in the study area can call a local Extension agent, Dr. Brandon Dominguez at (979) 845-4194, or Norby at (979) 845-3135.


why would they want to participate$

May 4, 2004
Media Inquiries: 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

Statement on Texas Cow With Central Nervous System Symptoms
On Friday, April 30 th , the Food and Drug Administration learned that a cow with central nervous system symptoms had been killed and shipped to a processor for rendering into animal protein for use in animal feed.

FDA, which is responsible for the safety of animal feed, immediately began an investigation. On Friday and throughout the weekend, FDA investigators inspected the slaughterhouse, the rendering facility, the farm where the animal came from, and the processor that initially received the cow from the slaughterhouse.

FDA's investigation showed that the animal in question had already been rendered into "meat and bone meal" (a type of protein animal feed). Over the weekend FDA was able to track down all the implicated material. That material is being held by the firm, which is cooperating fully with FDA.

Cattle with central nervous system symptoms are of particular interest because cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, also known as "mad cow disease," can exhibit such symptoms. In this case, there is no way now to test for BSE. But even if the cow had BSE, FDA's animal feed rule would prohibit the feeding of its rendered protein to other ruminant animals (e.g., cows, goats, sheep, bison).

FDA is sending a letter to the firm summarizing its findings and informing the firm that FDA will not object to use of this material in swine feed only. If it is not used in swine feed, this material will be destroyed. Pigs have been shown not to be susceptible to BSE. If the firm agrees to use the material for swine feed only, FDA will track the material all the way through the supply chain from the processor to the farm to ensure that the feed is properly monitored and used only as feed for pigs.

To protect the U.S. against BSE, FDA works to keep certain mammalian protein out of animal feed for cattle and other ruminant animals. FDA established its animal feed rule in 1997 after the BSE epidemic in the U.K. showed that the disease spreads by feeding infected ruminant protein to cattle.

Under the current regulation, the material from this Texas cow is not allowed in feed for cattle or other ruminant animals. FDA's action specifying that the material go only into swine feed means also that it will not be fed to poultry.

FDA is committed to protecting the U.S. from BSE and collaborates closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on all BSE issues. The animal feed rule provides crucial protection against the spread of BSE, but it is only one of several such firewalls. FDA will soon be improving the animal feed rule, to make this strong system even stronger.


January 30, 2001
Print Media: 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA


Note: On Dec. 23, 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that a cow in Washington state had tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease). As a result, information on this Web page stating that no BSE cases had been found in the United States is now incorrect. However, because other information on this page continues to have value, the page will remain available for viewing.


Today the Food and Drug Administration announced the results of tests taken on feed used at a Texas feedlot that was suspected of containing meat and bone meal from other domestic cattle -- a violation of FDA's 1997 prohibition on using ruminant material in feed for other ruminants. Results indicate that a very low level of prohibited material was found in the feed fed to cattle.

FDA has determined that each animal could have consumed, at most and in total, five-and-one-half grams - approximately a quarter ounce -- of prohibited material. These animals weigh approximately 600 pounds.

It is important to note that the prohibited material was domestic in origin (therefore not likely to contain infected material because there is no evidence of BSE in U.S. cattle), fed at a very low level, and fed only once. The potential risk of BSE to such cattle is therefore exceedingly low, even if the feed were contaminated.

According to Dr. Bernard Schwetz, FDA's Acting Principal Deputy Commissioner, "The challenge to regulators and industry is to keep this disease out of the United States. One important defense is to prohibit the use of any ruminant animal materials in feed for other ruminant animals. Combined with other steps, like U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) ban on the importation of live ruminant animals from affected countries, these steps represent a series of protections, to keep American cattle free of BSE."

Despite this negligible risk, Purina Mills, Inc., is nonetheless announcing that it is voluntarily purchasing all 1,222 of the animals held in Texas and mistakenly fed the animal feed containing the prohibited material. Therefore, meat from those animals will not enter the human food supply. FDA believes any cattle that did not consume feed containing the prohibited material are unaffected by this incident, and should be handled in the beef supply clearance process as usual.

FDA believes that Purina Mills has behaved responsibly by first reporting the human error that resulted in the misformulation of the animal feed supplement and then by working closely with State and Federal authorities.

This episode indicates that the multi-layered safeguard system put into place is essential for protecting the food supply and that continued vigilance needs to be taken, by all concerned, to ensure these rules are followed routinely.

FDA will continue working with USDA as well as State and local officials to ensure that companies and individuals comply with all laws and regulations designed to protect the U.S. food supply.

actually, as little as 1 mg (or 0.001 gm) caused 7% (1 of 14) of the cows to come down with BSE.

Published online

January 27, 2005


Commissariat à l’Energie

Atomique/Direction des

Sciences du Vivant/Départment

de Recherche Médicale,

18 Route du Panorama, 92265

Fontenay-aux-Roses, France

(C I Lasmézas DrMedVet,

E Comoy DrMedVet,

Risk of oral infection with bovine spongiform

encephalopathy agent in primates

Corinne Ida Lasmézas, Emmanuel Comoy, Stephen Hawkins, Christian Herzog, Franck Mouthon, Timm Konold, Frédéric Auvré, Evelyne Correia,

Nathalie Lescoutra-Etchegaray, Nicole Salès, Gerald Wells, Paul Brown, Jean-Philippe Deslys

The uncertain extent of human exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)—which can lead to variant

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)—is compounded by incomplete knowledge about the ef.ciency of oral infection

and the magnitude of any bovine-to-human biological barrier to transmission. We therefore investigated oral

transmission of BSE to non-human primates. We gave two macaques a 5 g oral dose of brain homogenate from a

BSE-infected cow. One macaque developed vCJD-like neurological disease 60 months after exposure, whereas the

other remained free of disease at 76 months. On the basis of these .ndings and data from other studies, we made a

preliminary estimate of the food exposure risk for man, which provides additional assurance that existing public

health measures can prevent transmission of BSE to man.


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