Follow Ups | Post Followup | Back to Discussion Board | VegSource
See spam or
inappropriate posts?
Please let us know.

From: TSS ()
Subject: Willie Nelson: We have a lot to learn from horses
Date: November 3, 2006 at 7:39 pm PST

Willie Nelson: We have a lot to learn from horses
POSTED: 4:49 p.m. EST, November 2, 2006
By Willie Nelson
Special to CNN

Editor's note: Willie Nelson is a legendary singer and songwriter. His new CD is called "Songbird."

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) -- Will Rogers said, "You know horses are smarter than people. You never heard of a horse going broke betting on people."

However, the horses are counting on the people more than ever now. Nearly 100,000 horses are killed annually in foreign-owned slaughterhouses in America for human consumption in other countries.

With the upcoming Senate vote on the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, Americans have a small window of opportunity to save a living legend.

Horses are all the things a truly evolved human should be. There are countless examples of their innate ability and desire to heal people.

Consider the therapeutic riding programs across the country, where horses can have more progress with children with various physical and mental disabilities than their own doctors. The most superhuman thing about horses is the contrast between their unearthly strength and inherent gentleness. Humans abuse their power while horses use theirs only for good. I'd rather be a horse.

With no disrespect to the eagle, I've always thought that the horse should be our national emblem. When horse accepted man onto his back and chose to carry his burdens, it changed the world. Horses have aided mankind through his most arduous and treacherous endeavors, from the sword to the plowshare. Humanity owes an incalculable debt to the horse. In Native American teachings, Horse enables shamans to fly through the air and reach heaven. To steal someone's horse is to steal their power.

Contrary to what some people are saying, slaughter is not a humane form of euthanasia, and these are not unwanted horses. The treatment of slaughter-bound horses is most often inhumane, and more than 90 percent of those slaughtered are young and in good health. Many are sold to slaughterhouses at closed auctions, while others are stolen pets.

Humans are not smart to eat horses. Horses are treated daily with products such as fly spray, wormers, hoof dressings, etc. These products have labels warning against use on animals used for food. Anyone with horse sense would not be exporting this toxic product.

The passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 1915) would put in place a permanent and immediate ban on both the slaughter of horses in the U.S. and the exportation of live horses for slaughter abroad.

Thanks to the Society for Animal Protective Legislation, which started the national campaign to end horse slaughter, and to those who got involved and called their legislators, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass H.R. 503. But the fight is not over. The Senate will vote on S. 1915, hopefully in November. Call or write your senators today. Each week our elected officials fail to act on this bill, thousands of horses are subjected to unimaginable cruelty.

For information on horse slaughter, to read my public letter to Congress and to find your senators, go to the Society for Animal Protective Legislation.

There has never been a better time to adopt. I just adopted 11 horses from Habitat for Horses. For information on how you can adopt a horse or give to this great cause, visit Habitat for Horses.

Join me and more than 500 leading horse industry groups, humane organizations, equine rescues and veterinarians in our effort to end horse slaughter.

What is your take on this commentary? E-mail us

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the writer. This is part of an occasional series of commentaries on that offers a broad range of perspectives, thoughts and points of view.

Your responses asked readers for their thoughts on this commentary. We received a lot of excellent responses. Below you will find a small selection of those e-mails, some of which have been edited for length and spelling.

Jane Hamilton, Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada
Right On, Willie ... Your article is an eloquent testament to the inherent goodness of the majestic horse. Modern humankind is shamelessly addicted to the quest for wealth, but the spiritual connection amongst all species should surely be recognized as the true heart of life on Earth. I just spent the morning with my 23-year-old adopted Rescue Horse, Estrella. She sighed and rested her muzzle on my arm as I wiped her face with a warm sponge, and my 56-year-old heart swelled with happiness. Horses should never be considered as commodities. Their beauty, grace and willingness to co-exist with us -- on our terms -- should forever be held up as an example of how much we humans have yet to learn.

Shelia Short, Wright City, Missouri
While all of us find the idea of slaughter distasteful, it is also a necessary part of our life. I myself have sold horses through auctions that have gone for slaughter, and I can tell you first hand that these horses were either old, crippled or had behavior problem that made them unfit as family horses. Yes, even I have bought a few "good horses" out of Killer pens, but most of the horses standing in those pens are right where they belonged!

Daniel Archer, Winchester, Virginia
With all respect to Mr. Nelson, of whom I am a casual fan, his statement about horses' "inherent gentleness" that they only use for good is a bit naive. I grew up on a farm in Western New York and have spent a good deal of time around large animals, including some time with horses on a ranch in Wyoming. Horses are capable of a remarkable docility. But Mr. Nelson fails to point out that, like all animals, they must be trained by humans before that gentleness shows. Without gentle care and persistent training, horses and the other domesticated animals humans have relied on for centuries remain wild, unruly beasts, prompt to lash out vindictively at the slightest annoyance. That said, Mr. Nelson should be commended for defending the nobility of the horse and what he perceives as its abuse. His defense is long on passion, but a little light on both facts and balance.

Matthew Barba, Miller Place, New York
I was completely unaware that within our own country we are slaughtering an unbelievable amount of horses. These majestic creatures that have provided humans with the means to advance civilization, seem to be given no respect any longer. This is an absolute shame, for all they have done for us, this is how we repay them? Kill our horses and send them to other countries to be eaten? It's unamerican, it's inhumane, it's perhaps even ungodly. Especially considering when one sees a horse in person, one can't help but tip their hat towards science and religion for making such a beautiful animal. The loyalty and help these animals have provided us make them more than qualified to be spared the slaughterhouse.

Diane Coker, Austin, Texas
Thank you CNN for bringing this issue to more wide-spread attention. A lot of people aren't even aware that the U.S. does this (exports horse meat for human consumption and slaughters horses). And I don't see how someone who becomes aware of it, could possibly think it is OK. Except the companies that benefit financially - that greed thing again. C'mon companies, can't you think of any other way to make money? Killing horses for financial gain should definitely not be something a civilized society does.

Gregg, New Canaan, Connecticut
Today a ban on slaughtering horses. Tomorrow cattle, pigs, sheep, bison, ducks, chickens and fish. These people want to change the food chain. Just because horses are great pets, doesn't mean the world should stop eating them. By all means keep their treatment and slaughter humane, but don't impose your vegetarian lifestyle on me or others.

David Akerly, Vancouver, British Columbia
Eventually this slaughter will end, as have previous atrocities in history that are now viewed with revulsion. It's just a question of time, but until it does we'll all be viewed with disgust by future generations.

C. Jaffe, Hammond, Indiana
Yay and Amen! I couldn't agree more with Willie. Thank you, CNN, for publishing this piece. I am a lifelong horseowner. Would never send a horse to slaughter. Willie (with your help) is bringing "America's dirty little secret" to the forefront so people who don't know the slaughter situation even exists, will be calling their Senators to try to get S 1915 passed before the end of the year.

Calvin Koeller, Peru, Illinois
Willie isn't a bad guy and I support a lot of what he does but this is a little out there. I enjoy horses and hate to see them suffer if not properly euthanized. However, what do we plan on doing w/ the horses after they die? Just bury them? Seems pretty inefficient to me. Obviously, if someone is selling the horses for $$$ it is a good trade for both the buyer and the seller. Not everyone can afford to adopt 11 horses and put them in their apartment so they can live a "happy" life.

James Stevens, West Branch, Michigan
Thank you, Willie, for your illumination of this important humanitarian acknowledgement of our brothers of this Earth, the horse.

Magnus Hedemark, Durham, North Carolina
Horses are no doubt special animals in the hearts of many people around the world. But there is nothing about them that should elevate them above chattle in terms of legal protection. Are some animals more important than others, and thus less worthy of protection from slaughterhouses? America is supposed to be the home of the free, and a great cultural melting pot. So who is Willy Nelson to tell someone that their culinary traditions of eating horses is somehow less human than his own practice of eating pigs and cows? Pigs are, after all, smarter than horses so shouldn't they be protected? The arrogance, xenophobia, and intolerance of this proposed legislation astounds me.

Charles Numbers, Larkspur, California
Thank you for this illuminating commentary. I am 48 years old and have believed my entire life that the sale of horse products for food is illegal in this country so never would have considered that horses are slaughtered for export. I would bet that at least 90 percent of the people in this country would be shocked to learn this. If legislators cannot be convinced of the cruelty involved, they should at least understand that it is inhumane to allow horse products to be sold for human consumption abroad because of the health risks to others from all of the chemicals used to keep horses healthy.

Paula Riggen, Essex Junction, Vermont
I commend Willie Nelson for an excellent article supporting horses. The things we allow to happen under our noses regarding cruelty to these amazing creatures is despicable. I stand beside Willie Nelson and anyone else who is in favor of outlawing the abhorrent manner in which we allow creatures over which we have dominion, such as horses, to suffer needlessly.

Subject: House enters potential MAD/TSE horse meat debate (BELTEX French owned and Crown Belgian)
Date: April 21, 2003 at 7:51 am PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: House enters potential MAD/TSE horse meat debate (BELTEX French owned and Crown Belgian)
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 09:52:40 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

April 20, 2003, 9:49PM

House enters horse meat debate

Two North Texas slaughterhouses are fighting in court to stay open

Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

AUSTIN -- In a state where horses have long been revered for their
service on cattle drives and in combat, the Texas Legislature is about
to consider whether they also should fill another role: food for the
dinner table.

For years, two companies in North Texas have produced horse meat for
human consumption and shipped it to foreign countries. Only last year
did they learn that it was illegal, thanks to an opinion by
then-Attorney General John Cornyn.

The opinion, sought by an animal rights activist, said it is a crime to
sell or possess horse meat with an intent to use it for human consumption.

The companies -- Dallas Crown Packaging of Kaufman and Beltex Corp. of
Fort Worth -- are the only two firms in the country that still process
horse meat for foreign tables. Now they are fighting on two fronts to
stay in business.

They have gone to court to try to overturn the attorney general's ruling
and have asked the Legislature to change the law.

State Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell, is sponsoring House Bill 1324, which
would allow them to remain open.

"It would make what they do legal because they don't sell food products
for human consumption in the United States," said David Broiles,
attorney for the horse slaughter companies.

Brown did not respond to several requests for comment, but her staff
provided information. A House committee has approved her bill, which is
scheduled for debate by the full House on Tuesday.

Shortly after Cornyn issued his opinion in August, the companies also
went to court for an injunction to prohibit the Tarrant and Kaufman
county district attorneys' offices from enforcing the law. A judge's
decision also is expected Tuesday.

Prosecutors agreed to wait until a judge ruled on the injunction before
taking any action against the two facilities.

Horse meat is a delicacy in several countries, including Belgium,
France, Italy and Japan, where diners consider it healthier than
grain-fed, hormone-laced beef.

Jeanne H. Freeland-Graves, head of the division of nutritional sciences
at the University of Texas at Austin, said horse meat is a little leaner
than beef but nutritionally is about the same. She also said
hormone-free beef can be purchased.

"I think it's a matter of preference," Freeland-Graves said. "In Asia
they eat crickets, and we don't eat crickets because it's not socially

Skip Trimble, who represents the Texas Humane Legislation Network and
several national thoroughbred organizations that oppose Brown's bill,
said he began the inquiry that led to Cornyn's ruling against the
slaughter plants.

"This law (HB 1324) is a response to the opinion," he said. "These
plants should be shut down because they are violating state law."

Shane Sklar, executive director of the Independent Cattlemen's
Association of Texas, disagrees. He said he supports the bill because he
is concerned about what would otherwise happen to horses that should be

"We want to keep these slaughterhouses open in the state of Texas,"
Sklar said. "I think it's really important that we keep these two we
have functioning."

He said some ranchers cannot afford to euthanize animals that have
outlived their usefulness. Without the option of auctioning them to
slaughter plants, some ranchers will allow such horses to roam ranches
in poor health until they die, which he thinks is inhumane.

"Or they'll go to Mexico, where we don't know how they are treated," he

But Trimble said 90 percent of the horses slaughtered at the two plants
come from outside Texas, according to information filed in the
companies' lawsuits.

Trimble also said the method of horse slaughter used at the two plants
is exceptionally cruel and inhumane. A special type of gun fires a stun
bolt between their eyes to render them unconscious, he said.

A similar method is used with cattle, but Trimble said the guns are more
accurate with cattle because cows are shorter and accustomed to being
handled in herds.

Horses are more excitable and have long necks, so their heads are above
the chute, he said. The American Veterinary Medical Association
specifies that horses are supposed to be properly restrained, but
Trimble said that is nearly impossible in slaughterhouse conditions.

He said it can take a few bolts to render a horse unconscious. It's
painful for the horse, and sometimes the animals may mistakenly have
their throats slit while still alive, he added.

Beltex Corp., owned by a French company, has been in business for 27
years. Dallas Crown Packaging bought a pre-existing company and is owned
by a Belgian firm.

Since the slaughter facilities are foreign-owned, the profits go overseas.

"They produce a product that uses our natural resource, and their
product is against the law for you to buy or eat," Trimble said.

How many other laws, he asked, allow a foreign company "to come to our
country, use our resources and produce a product, and we can't buy it,
use it or eat it?"

The slaughterhouses also produce food sold to some zoos in the United
States, as well as other products such as hides, hooves and pericardia,
the thin, membranous sacs around the heart that are used in human
open-heart surgeries.

Broiles said that about 100 pericardia are sold per week to a company in
California and shipped to Switzerland, where they are processed and
distributed all over the world.

"If they didn't have these two plants, they wouldn't have that tissue,"
Broiles said.

Greetings List Members,

NOW, for all you Countries exporting USA HORSES to EAT, what about
the potential for TSE through cross contamination ???

RE-FDA Considering Tighter Restrictions on Animal Feed New York Times
Syndicate, January 12, 2003
Date: January 13, 2003 at 2:29 pm PST


> The following custom mixed animal feeds are recalled --- a)
> [non-ruminant]: ''Horse Feed'', Hog Feed, and 14% Pig Feed. Recall #
> V-157-2; b) [ruminant]: Dairy Feed, Steer Feed, New Goat Feed, Cattle
> Feed, and Beef Feed. Recall # V-158-2. CODE The product is coded only
> with the manufacturing date and invoice numbers. All feed products
> manufactured and shipped since July 9, 2001 are affected by this recall.
> RECALLING FIRM/MANUFACTURER Recalling Firm: Shepard Grain Company, Inc.,
> Urbana, OH, by telephone on January 11, 2002. Manufacturer: Shepard
> Grain Company, Inc., W. Liberty, OH. FDA initiated recall is complete.
> REASON Ruminant and non-ruminant animal feeds contain BSE prohibited
> material, and are either misbranded or adulterated.
> 41,129 LBS (20.5 tons).


Prion Disease: Texas Quarantines 1,221 Cattle Exposed To Ruminant ...

... Beltex Corporation, Fort Worth, Texas. ... cow in Denmark had died
of Bovine Spongiform
Encephalopathy ("BSE"), more colourfully known as Mad Cow Disease ... - 101k - Cached

- Similar pages

RE-FDA Considering Tighter Restrictions on Animal Feed New York ...

... TURNS TO SECRECY > ON MAD COW FEED WARNING ... T,15 > > > > 07041 E
--- Beltex Corporation
--- 3801 N ... -- Fort Worth, TX > 76106 --- Slaughter/ Cutting ---
Equine ...

- 88k - Cached

- Similar pages

Date: June 29, 2002 at 11:24 am PST


before i move on, i would like to point out
that the statement by the FDA on the Purina
mill in Texas and the 5.5 grams of potentially
tainted feed is grossly misleading.

"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."

if we look at these studies, we will find that
the 5.5 grams would be more than sufficient to
infect a cow, if the feed was tainted with TSEs.

please read page 4, 5 and 6 of some 53;

Scientific Steering Committee


Under Federal Inspection

ATTENTION: Due to security measures now being taken on Federal
Government maintained web sites, addresses of Meat and Poultry
Establishments are not published. The webmaster for this site cannot
supply these addresses. If you have any inquiries regarding the
establishments, please make them with the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) office.


P.S. they fail to tell you that filing under the FOIA seems fruitless now,
especially with the ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban violations...

- TSS 4/14/03


Re: House enters potential MAD/TSE horse meat debate (BELTEX French owned and Crown Belgian) Gayle Pugh 1/06/04 (0)
House OKs sales of horse meat outside U.S. ( ''human consumption'' $$$) TSS 4/24/03 (12)
Re: House OKs sales of horse meat outside U.S. ( ''human consumption'' $$$) Salami 1/09/05 (0)
comments on horse slaughter tina 1/08/04 (1)
STOP IT Abby 7/25/04 (0)
House OKs sales of horse meat inside U.S. ( ''human consumption'' ) RAY 5/27/03 (8)
Re: House OKs sales of horse meat inside U.S. ( ''human consumption'' ) helmut o. sonnenschein 11/25/04 (0)
Re: House OKs sales of horse meat inside U.S. ( ''human consumption'' ) matt 1/06/04 (0)
Re: House OKs sales of horse meat inside U.S. ( ''human consumption'' ) Dr. Michael W. Kraus 12/24/03 (0)
Re: House OKs sales of horse meat inside U.S. ( ''human consumption'' ) Rob Tresun 10/22/03 (1)
Re: House OKs sales of horse meat inside U.S. ( ''human consumption'' ) Strict Vegetarian 8/11/04 (0)
Re: horse meat ( ''human consumption'' ) Terry 6/22/03 (0)


1st question is, how many TSE transmission studies have been done on horses ??? (none that i know of)


well, ill tell you. A BUNCH !!!


V-250-1 10150 B. Miracle Starter
V-251-1 10350 B. 21% Broiler Starter
V-252-1 10450 B. Pullet Grower & Developer
V-253-1 10550 B. 18% Layer Breeder Pellets
V-254-1 10750 B. 20% Gold Std. Laying Crum
V-255-1 10950 B. 17% Complete Laying Crums
V-256-1 11050 B. 16% Prosperity Layer Crums
V-257-1 11100 B. 40% Poultry Concentrate
V-258-1 11150 B. 40% Poultry Concentrate
V-259-1 11250 B. 28% Turkey Starter Crums
V-260-1 11350 20% Gig "4" Pellets
V-261-1 11450 B. 16% Prosperity Layer Pellets
V-262-1 11550 18% Game Bird Breeder Pellets
V-263-1 11650 B. 19% Ratite Grower Diet
V-264-1 11750 B. 23% Ratite Breeder Diet
V-265-1 12100 B. 40% Poultry Concentrate Crums
V-266-1 12550 B. 32% Base Poultry Mix
V-267-1 13250 B. 28% Turkey Starter
V-268-1 13450 B. 20% Poultry Grower
V-269-1 14325 B. Game Bird Mix - Coarse
V-270-1 20150 B. 18% Pig Starter Pellets
V-271-1 20250 B. 16% Pig Grower Pellets
V-272-1 20450 B. 14% Porkmaker 100 Pellets
V-273-1 20550 B. 40% Gro 'Em Lean
V-274-1 21850 B. 27% Hi-Fat Swine Base
V-275-1 23000 Mt. Hope Hevy Hog
V-276-1 30050 12% Pleasure Horse - Sweet
V-277-1 30150 Alfa + Performer 10 Sweet
V-278-1 30250 14% Grass + Perf Sweet
V-279-1 30450 12% Wrangler - Complete
V-280-1 30550 B. 12% Pleasure Horse Pellets
V-281-1 30650 B. 32% Gro' N Win Pellets
V-282-1 30750 12% Wrangler Cubes
V-283-1 30950 18% Foal Starter
V-284-1 31050 B. 14% Alfa + Dev Pellets
V-285-1 31150 B. Alfa + Performer 10 Pel
V-286-1 31200 Grass +Performer 14 Pel
V-287-1 31250 Grass +Performer 14 Pel
V-288-1 31350 12% Mustang
V-289-1 31450 Endurance - 101 Extruded
V-290-1 31550 B. Equine Energy - UK
V-291-1 31650 B. 16% Grass + Dev Pellets
V-292-1 31750 16% Grass + Dev Cubes
V-293-1 31850 16% Grass + Dev Sweet
V-294-1 31950 B. 11% Alfa Gro 'N Win Pel
V-295-1 32050 B. Sho' Win Pellets
V-296-1 32250 B. Senior Formula
V-297-1 32350 Oscar Horse Mix
V-298-1 32450 B. Ultimate Finish
V-299-1 32550 Crossfire Horse Feed
V-300-1 32650 B. Equine 16% Growth
V-301-1 32750 B. Reduced Energy Formula
V-302-1 32850 B. Training Formula
V-303-1 32950 B. Cadence Formula
V-304-1 33150 B. Track 12 Horse Feed
V-305-1 33350 Spears 16% GR + Dev Cubes
V-306-1 33400 B. 14% Supreme Horse Pellets
V-307-1 33450 B. 14% Supreme Horse Pellets
V-308-1 33650 B. Race'N Win
V-309-1 33750 B. 14% Prominent Horse Feed
V-310-1 33850 B. Unbeetable Horse Feed
V-311-1 34750 Cargill Senior Horse
V-312-1 34850 Cargill Vitality Gold
V-313-1 35150 Chagrin 12% Sweet Fd
V-314-1 35250 Smith Pure Pleasure
V-315-1 35750 Roundup 10% Horse Pellets
V-316-1 35850 12% Summerglo Horse
V-317-1 36255 B. Grass +Min&VitBase - Mexico
V-318-1 36850 Miller's 12% Horse Feed
V-319-1 37155 B. Gro'Win Base Mix - Mexico
V-320-1 38000 B. 32% Premium Mixer Pellets
V-321-1 38050 B. 32% Premium Mixer Pellets
V-322-1 38100 36% Maintenance Mixer Pellets
V-323-1 38150 36% Maintenance Mixer Pellets
V-324-1 50150 Terramycin Crumbles
V-325-1 60105 16% Rabbit Pellets
V-326-1 60125 16% Rabbit Pellets
V-327-1 60150 B. 16% Rabbit Pellets
V-328-1 60205 18% Rabbit Developer
V-329-1 60250 B. 18% Rabbit Developer
V-330-1 60450 B. 16% Rabbit Maintenance
V-331-1 90150 B. Buckeye Scratch
V-332-1 90225 Gold Standard Scratch
V-333-1 90250 Gold Standard Scratch
V-334-1 90350 Intermediate Scratch
V-335-1 90450 B. Chick Grains
V-336-1 90525 B. Shelled Corn
V-337-1 90550 B. Shelled Corn
V-338-1 90650 B. Cracked Corn
V-339-1 90825 B. Fine Cracked Corn
V-340-1 90850 B. Fine Cracked Corn
V-341-1 91000 Steam Flaked Corn
V-342-1 91050 Steam Flaked Corn
V-343-1 91750 Oats - HP Crimped
V-344-1 91850 B. HP Sweet Crimped Oats
V-345-1 95550 Land O' Lakes Shelled Corn
V-346-1 95650 Land O' Cracked Corn
V-347-1 95850 Land O' Lakes Chick Crack
V-348-1 100850 B. Alfalfa Pellets
V-349-1 101850 Cooked Full Fat Soybean
V-350-1 122200 Magnatone M-4-B Pels Bulk
Buckeye Feed Mills, Dalton, Ohio.
Manufacturer visited local customers on April 17, 2001. On April 18 and 19,
2001, manufacturer mailed and faxed recall notices. Firm initiated recall is
Al, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, ME, MD, MA, MO, MN, MS, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH,
OR, PA, RI, TN, VA, WV, and WI.
2,790 tons of ruminant feed products and 14,000 tons of non-ruminant feed
The animal feed products may contain protein derived from mammalian tissues.



9 December 2005
Division of Dockets Management (RFA-305)

James J. Kramer, Ph.D.
Vice President, Corporate Operations


Page 1 of 17 9/13/2005 [PDF]
... Page 1 of 17 From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. [] Sent:
Thursday, September 08, 2005 6:17 PM To:
Subject ...


The U.S. Department of Agriculture was quick to assure the public earlier
this week that the third case of mad cow disease did not pose a risk to
them, but what federal officials have not acknowledged is that this latest
case indicates the deadly disease has been circulating in U.S. herds for at
least a decade.

The second case, which was detected last year in a Texas cow and which USDA
officials were reluctant to verify, was approximately 12 years old.

These two cases (the latest was detected in an Alabama cow) present a
picture of the disease having been here for 10 years or so, since it is
thought that cows usually contract the disease from contaminated feed they
consume as calves. The concern is that humans can contract a fatal,
incurable, brain-wasting illness from consuming beef products contaminated
with the mad cow pathogen.

"The fact the Texas cow showed up fairly clearly implied the existence of
other undetected cases," Dr. Paul Brown, former medical director of the
National Institutes of Health's Laboratory for Central Nervous System
Studies and an expert on mad cow-like diseases, told United Press
International. "The question was, 'How many?' and we still can't answer

Brown, who is preparing a scientific paper based on the latest two mad cow
cases to estimate the maximum number of infected cows that occurred in the
United States, said he has "absolutely no confidence in USDA tests before
one year ago" because of the agency's reluctance to retest the Texas cow
that initially tested positive.

USDA officials finally retested the cow and confirmed it was infected seven
months later, but only at the insistence of the agency's inspector general.

"Everything they did on the Texas cow makes everything USDA did before 2005
suspect," Brown said. ...snip...end

CDC - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Variant Creutzfeldt ...
Dr. Paul Brown is Senior Research Scientist in the Laboratory of Central
Nervous System ... Address for correspondence: Paul Brown, Building 36, Room
4A-05, ...

Subject: [Docket No. FSIS-2006-0011] FSIS Harvard Risk Assessment of Bovine
Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)

December 19, 2005

Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)

Food and Drug Administration

5630 Fishers Lane

Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

Re: Docket No: 2002N-0273 (formerly Docket No. 02N-0273)

Substances Prohibited From Use in Animal Food and Feed

Dear Sir or Madame:

The McDonalds Corporation buys more beef than any other restaurant in the United States. It is essential for our customers and our company that the beef has the highest level of safety. Concerning BSE, the most effective way to insure this is to create a system that processes cattle that are not exposed to the disease. As a company we take numerous precautions via our strict specifications to help and assure this, however we feel that the force of federal regulation is important to ensure that the risk of exposure in the entire production system is reduced to as close to zero as possible. The exemptions in the current ban as well as in the newly proposed rule make this difficult if not impossible, as there are still legal avenues for ruminants to consume potentially contaminated ruminant protein. In addition, the USDA still has not implemented a system of identification and traceability. It is our opinion that the government can take further action to reduce this risk and appreciate the opportunity to submit comments to this very important proposed rule.

After the identification of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in indigenous North American cattle, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responded rapidly to implement measures to protect public health in regard to food. Our company recognizes and supports the importance of the current feed ban which went into effect in August 1997. However, given what is known about the epidemiology and characteristically long incubation period of BSE, we urge the FDA to act without further delay and implement additional measures which will reduce the risk of BSE recycling in the US cattle herd. We caution against using the 18 month enhanced surveillance as a justification to relax or impede further actions. While this surveillance indicates an epidemic is not underway, it does not clear the US cattle herd from infection. The positive cases indicate probable exposure prior to the 1997 feed ban, a time when BSE appears to have been circulating in animal feed. BSE cases are most likely clustered in time and location, so while enhanced surveillance provides an 18 month snapshot, it does not negate the fact that US and Canadian cattle were exposed to BSE and that the current feed controls contain “leaks”.

We feel that for the FDA to provide a more comprehensive and protective feed ban, specified risk materials (SRMs) and deadstock must be removed from all animal feed and that legal exemptions which allow ruminant protein to be fed back to ruminants (with the exception of milk) should be discontinued.

SRMs, as defined by the USDA, are tissues which, in a BSE infected animal, are known to either harbor BSE infectivity or to be closely associated with infectivity. If SRMs are not removed, they may introduce BSE infectivity and continue to provide a source of animal feed contamination. Rendering will reduce infectivity but it will not totally eliminate it. This is significant, as research in the United Kingdom has shown that a calf may be infected with BSE by the ingestion of as little as .001 gram of untreated brain.

The current proposed rule falls short of this and would still leave a potential source of infectivity in the system. In fact by the FDA’s own statement the exempted tissues which are known to have infectivity (such as distal ileum, DRGs, etc) would cumulatively amount to approximately 10% of the infectivity in an infected animal. Leaving approximately 10% of the infectious tissues in the system is not good enough. The proposed rule still allows the possibility for cattle to be exposed to BSE through:

Feeding of materials currently subject to legal exemptions from the ban (e.g., poultry litter, plate waste)
Cross feeding (the feeding of non-ruminant rations to ruminants) on farms; and
Cross contamination of ruminant and non-ruminant feed

We are most concerned that the FDA has chosen to include a provision that would allow tissues from deadstock into the feed chain. We do not support the provision to allow the removal of brain and spinal cord from down and deadstock over 30 months of age for several reasons. These are the animals with the highest level of infectivity in tissues which include more than brain and spinal cord. Firstly, there are two issues regarding the complex logistics of this option. We do not feel that it is possible to have adequate removal especially during the warmer months. In addition, we do not feel that there are adequate means to enforce complete removal. Unlike slaughterhouses, there are no government inspectors at rendering plants or deadstock collection points.

Most importantly, there is emerging information that at end stage disease (a natural BSE case); infectivity may also be included in additional tissues such as peripheral nerves (Buschmann and Groschup, 2005 – see attached). This published work supports publicly reported studies in Japan where by western blot testing, prions have been found in the peripheral nerves of a naturally infected 94-month-old cow. If this is the case, the amount of infectivity left in the system from an infected bovine would surpass 10% and the full extent is still unknown.

McDonalds has convened it own International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) as well as co-sponsored a symposium of TSE scientists on the issue of tissue distribution. The consensus of both groups was that the pathogenesis of BSE might not be entirely different from TSEs in other species at the point where the animal is showing signs of the disease. These scientists feel that the studies as reported above have merit. The current studies not only re-enforce the risk of down and deadstock but also appear to provide additional information that these animals may be a potential source of greater levels of infectivity into the feed system. Hence, we suggest that the FDA consult with TSE scientists as well.

Leaving the tissues from the highest risk category of cattle in the animal feed chain will effectively nullify the intent of this regulation. This point is illustrated by the 2001 Harvard risk assessment model that demonstrated that eliminating dead and downer, 4D cattle, from the feed stream was a disproportionately effective means of reducing the risk of re-infection.

“The disposition of cattle that die on the farm would also have a substantial influence on the spread of BSE if the disease were introduced.” The base case scenario showed that the mean total number of ID50s (i.e., dosage sufficient to infect 50 percent of exposed cattle) from healthy animals at slaughter presented to the food/feed system was 1500. The mean total number of ID50s from adult cattle deadstock presented to the feed system was 37,000. This illustrates the risk of “4D cattle” (i.e., deadstock).

From the Harvard Risk Assessment, 2001, Appendix 3A Base Case and Harvard Risk Assessment, 2001 Executive Summary

McDonalds also urges agencies of the US government to work with academia and industry on research in the following areas:

· Methods to inactivate TSEs agents which then may allow a product to be used and even fed to animals without risk

· Alternative uses for animal byproducts which would maintain some value

In July 2004, McDonalds in cooperation with others sponsored a meeting at Penn State. The purpose of the meeting was to review work conducted by Dr. Bruce Miller looking at the feasibility of using carcasses and animal byproducts as renewable alternatives to fossil fuels in large energy generating boilers. A number of government representatives were also invited to this meeting. We are aware that Dr. Miller continues this work which shows great promise. We suggest that the FDA explore the possibility of this alternative use that may also have a positive impact on the environment.

The McDonalds Corporation will continue to work with the FDA and other government agencies to implement a strong BSE risk control program. We would like to reiterate our opinion that for the FDA to provide a more comprehensive and protective feed ban, specified risk materials (SRMs) and deadstock must be removed from all animal feed and that legal exemptions which allow ruminant protein to be fed back to ruminants (with the exception of milk) should be discontinued. Thank you for the opportunity to submit these comments to the public record.


Dick Crawford

Corporate Vice President, Government Relations

630-623-6754 Direct

630-623-3057 Facsimile

630-841-7968 Mobile

630-963-6068 Residence

Full Text

Diagnosis and Reporting of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Singeltary, Sr et al. JAMA.2001; 285: 733-734.





THEM folks from France and other places better think twice about that potential mad horse meat from the USA. ...TSS

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.

P.O. Box 42

Bacliff, Texas USA 77518

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

E-mail: (optional)


Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL: