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From: TSS ()
Subject: R-CALF 9th Circuit Denies USDA’s Request to Dismiss Case and Johann lied again, this time about Animal I.D.
Date: November 23, 2006 at 8:35 am PST

9th Circuit Denies USDA’s Request to Dismiss Case

BILLINGS, MONT. (November 21, 2006) The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (9th Circuit) has denied the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Motion for Summary Affirmance, stating in its decision that the agency’s rarely used legal maneuver was denied “because the arguments raised in response to the motion (by R-CALF USA) are sufficiently substantial to warrant further argument.”

“We are pleased that the 9th Circuit has determined that R-CALF USA’s case warrants further consideration and we look forward to being able to present the facts concerning the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) problem in Canada and how this situation relates to trade with the United States,” said R-CALF USA President and Region V Director Chuck Kiker. “It is time Canada’s BSE issues, its higher BSE infection level and its ineffective feed ban are addressed, and rules developed to protect Canada’s trade partners, like the U.S., from importing this disease.”

R-CALF USA filed litigation against USDA in January 2005, claiming the agency’s Final Rule on “Minimal Risk Regions: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and the Importation of Commodities,” which relaxed long-standing import restrictions for countries affected by BSE, was inadequate to protect the U.S. cattle industry from the introduction of BSE from Canada.

“Utilizing a court of law was our last resort in our attempts to work with USDA to maintain the health of the U.S. cattle herd,” Kiker continued. “This latest decision by the 9th Circuit means that R-CALF gets the right to appeal. If we win the appeal, then we will have the opportunity to have all our facts and scientific evidence considered by the court. This has been our objective all along.”

Kiker surmised that USDA does not want the organization’s case to be reviewed by the 9th Circuit because the circumstances unfolding in Canada continue to disprove the key assumptions USDA used to defend its Final Rule. Just as one example, Kiker said, USDA did not contemplate the recent discoveries of BSE-infected cattle born three to five years after the 1997 implementation of Canada’s feed ban.

“These recent cases of younger Canadian cattle with BSE disprove USDA’s key assumption that the Canadian feed ban has been effectively enforced,” he said.

R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard said the 9th Circuit now must decide if this case should be reconsidered. R-CALF USA must file its opening brief by Dec. 11, and USDA’s reply brief is due Jan. 10, 2007, exactly two years after R-CALF USA filed its lawsuit against the agency. R-CALF USA can then file an optional reply brief within 14 days of USDA’s reply brief.

“If the 9th Circuit does grant R-CALF the opportunity to argue the merits of our case, the court would remand the case back to U.S. District Court Judge Richard F. Cebull, in whose court the original litigation was filed,” Bullard commented.

Note: Click here

to view the 9th Circuit’s decision. Also, for background information, see the R-CALF USA news release dated Aug. 21, 2006, titled "USDA Attempts Rarely Used Legal Maneuver to Prevent R-CALF USA Appeal."

# # #

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is a national, non-profit organization and is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on both domestic and international trade and marketing issues. Members are located across 47 states and are primarily cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and/or feedlot owners. R-CALF USA has more than 60 affiliate organizations and various main-street businesses are associate members. For more information, visit or, call 406-252-2516.

Agriculture Online / Successful Farming – Wed. – November 22, 2006 – 9:19 a.m. CST

Court: R-CALF v. USDA case will continue

The almost two-year-long court fight between R-CALF USA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is seemingly headed for another round.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week denied the USDA Motion for Summary Affirmance, stating in its decision that the agency's rarely used legal maneuver was denied "because the arguments raised in response to the motion (by R-CALF USA) are sufficiently substantial to warrant further argument."

"We are pleased that the 9th Circuit has determined that R-CALF USA's case warrants further consideration and we look forward to being able to present the facts concerning the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) problem in Canada and how this situation relates to trade with the United States," says R-CALF USA President and Region V Director Chuck Kiker. "It is time Canada's BSE issues, its higher BSE infection level and its ineffective feed ban are addressed, and rules developed to protect Canadas trade partners, like the U.S., from importing this disease."R-CALF USA filed litigation against USDA in January 2005, claiming the agency's Final Rule on "Minimal Risk Regions: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and the Importation of Commodities," which relaxed long-standing import restrictions for countries affected by BSE, was inadequate to protect the U.S. cattle industry from the introduction of BSE from Canada.

R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard says the 9th Circuit now must decide if this case should be reconsidered. R-CALF USA must file its opening brief by Dec. 11, and USDA's reply brief is due Jan. 10, 2007, exactly two years after R-CALF USA filed its lawsuit against the agency. R-CALF USA can then file an optional reply brief within 14 days of USDA's reply brief.

JOHANN FLIP FLOPS AGAIN, more broken promises ;

Nov. 23, 2006, 1:55AM
Government won't make animal IDs mandatory after all

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is abandoning plans to make farmers and ranchers register their cows, pigs and chickens in a nationwide database intended to help limit disease outbreaks.

Faced with widespread opposition, the Agriculture Department said Wednesday the animal tracking program should remain voluntary.

"Really embracing this as a voluntary program ... will help the trust issues that some farmers and ranchers have raised about the national animal identification system," said Bruce Knight, undersecretary for marketing and regulation.

"I'm certainly hoping to move beyond some of the very emotional debates on animal ID," Knight said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Many cattle ranchers are wary of the program because they want records kept confidential and don't want to pay for the system. The industry estimates it could cost more than $100 million annually to register and report the movements of livestock and poultry.

"It is critically important for USDA to explain what the cost of this program will be, and how the proprietary information will be protected, before they go any further," said Bill Bullard, chief operating officer of R-CALF USA, a Western ranchers' group.

"We believe USDA has gone too far, too fast," Bullard said.

Not just individual ranchers are skeptical. The state of Vermont decided in August to hold off on participating in the system because officials were worried about the privacy of farm information.

So far, about 23 percent of the nation's ranches, feed lots, livestock barns and other facilities have registered their premises with the Agriculture Department.

The department's goal is to have all premises registered by January 2008 and to have full participation in the system by January 2009.

The system would identify cattle individually with tags or other devices. There are high-tech ways to monitor their movements, often with radio-frequency ear tags but also with retinal scans of eyes or even DNA testing.

Hogs and poultry could be registered in groups, because that typically is how they move through the food chain.

Last year, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced that participation would be mandatory by 2009. Later, Johanns said it would be required someday.

Knight said 2009 is still the goal for full participation.

"I am very confident that this program will stand on its own as a voluntary program," he said.

Knight added: "Unfortunately, I think some of the debate of mandatory versus voluntary has actually distracted folks to the point that it's impeded participation. And I'd much rather just get about the business of making the program operational."

First promised in response to the discovery of mad cow disease in this country, the tracking system would pinpoint an animal's movements within 48 hours after a disease was discovered.

Investigators never found all 80 of the cattle that came to the U.S. from Canada with the infected dairy cow that became the country's first case of mad cow disease in 2003.

There are more than 90 million cows, 60 million hogs and nearly 9 billion chickens in the United States.

Lack of ID registry thwarts mad cow data hunt


WASHINGTON - Investigators may never figure out where the Alabama cow with mad cow disease was born and raised, in part because the United States lacks a livestock tracking system that the Bush administration had promised two years ago.
After the first U.S. case of mad cow disease in December 2003, the government pledged to get a nationwide program into place quickly so officials could track cows, pigs and chickens from their birth to the dinner table. Today, however, the system is a long way off.

Alabama officials saw the need firsthand last week as they tried to determine where the infected cow came from.

The animal had no ear tags, tattoos or brands, and spent less than a year on the farm where she died. The trail seems to have gone cold at an auction where she was sold last year.

"We need an animal ID program in this country so it will help our industry and help our farmers when we have these kind of situations," the state's agriculture commissioner, Ron Sparks, said Friday in Montgomery, Ala.

Ideally, a cow such as the one in this case would be assigned a number that she would carry throughout her life. Farms, sale barns and feedlots would have unique numbers, too. Different technologies, including radio-frequency tags, retinal scans or even DNA of a cow's eye could help with the tracking.

The goal is to pinpoint a single animal's movements within 48 hours after mad cow or a different disease is discovered.

It is not an easy task in a country with 9 billion chickens, pigs and cows.

"We have a lot of protein being raised in this country," Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said last week. "It's something that we want to give the industry some time to adjust to and prepare for."

Johanns promised last May that the tracking system would be in place, run by the government and with mandatory participation, by 2009.

That date has not changed, though some details have.

Johanns said industry groups will be allowed to run the system - his department would have access to the data - and enrolling will be voluntary for producers, although Johanns added that it will be required for everyone someday.

While many ranchers and other producers are resistant to the idea, industry groups are moving forward with their own programs. For example, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association helped develop a system using Microsoft technology that is now being run by an independent group, the U.S. Animal ID Organization.

In Congress, some lawmakers are frustrated. Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, the top Democrat on an important farm spending subcommittee, said the department seems to be making up the program on the go.

"When are we going to get real and put a system in place that will make a difference to the public health of this nation?" DeLauro asked a department official last week.

She and other critics question why producers would sign up if participation is not required.

Release No. 0149.05
Amy Spillman (301) 734-7253
Ed Loyd (202) 720-4623

Printable version

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2005-Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today unveiled a thinking paper and timeline on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) and called on agriculture producers, leaders, and industry partners to provide feedback. Both documents are available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's NAIS Web site at and will be published in the Federal Register.

"The documents we're releasing today offer a draft plan to move the public discussion forward on this important initiative," said Johanns. "We created these documents with guidance from the NAIS advisory committee and with a great deal of input from producers. We're proposing answers to some of the key questions about how we envision this system moving forward. Now, I'm eager to hear from farmers and ranchers so we can develop a final plan."

A comprehensive description of system standards will be determined over time through field trials, user experience and the federal rulemaking process. These documents lay out in more detail projected timelines and potential avenues to achieve system milestones. For example, these documents propose requiring stakeholders to identify premises and animals according to NAIS standards by January 2008. Requiring full recording of defined animal movements is proposed by January 2009.

The Federal Register notice acknowledges the outstanding concerns of some stakeholders and frames questions for which USDA will be seeking answers as it moves forward with the NAIS. These questions pertain to funding for the system, confidentiality of data in the system and flexibility of the system, among other things.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before June 6, 2005. Send an original and three copies of postal or commercial delivery comments to Docket No. 050-15-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. If you wish to submit a comment using the Internet, an easy link to the NAIS docket and comment form will be available on the NAIS home page at

Once USDA receives feedback on the documents, it will follow the normal rulemaking process before any aspects of the NAIS become mandatory. The public will have the opportunity to submit additional comments on any proposed regulations.

Comments are posted on the EDOCKET Web site and may also be viewed at USDA, Room 1141 South Building, 14th St. and Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C., between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. To facilitate entry into the comment reading room, please call (202) 690-2817.

Administered by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the NAIS is a cooperative state-federal-industry program being created to track animal movements from birth to death for the purpose of disease tracking. It will be established over time through the integration of three key components: premises identification, animal identification and animal tracking.

State and federal animal health officials will be able to manage disease surveillance and control programs more effectively and efficiently as animal identification and location records are collected through NAIS. They will also be able to implement electronic intra- and interstate animal movement permitting rapid respond to potential disease outbreaks.

Eventually, the NAIS will allow animal health officials to identify all animals and premises that have had contact with a foreign or domestic animal disease of concern within 48 hours of an initial presumptive-positive diagnosis. As an information system that provides for rapid tracing of infected and exposed animals during an outbreak situation, the NAIS will help limit the scope of such outbreaks and ensure that they are contained as quickly as possible.

The NAIS is designed to encompass the tracking of all animal species that could directly or indirectly impact the animal health status of our nation's food animal system. Currently, species working groups have been established for beef and dairy cattle, bison, camelids, cervids, equine, goats, poultry, sheep and swine.

APHIS received approximately $33 million for NAIS implementation in fiscal year 2005 through the Consolidated Appropriations Act. USDA also transferred $18.8 million from its Commodity Credit Corporation to APHIS in FY 2004 to support the program.!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB/.cmd/ad/.ar/sa.retrievecontent/.c/6_2_1UH/.ce/7_2_5JM/.p/5_2_4TQ/.d/1/_th/J_2_9D/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?PC_7_2_5JM_contentid=2005%2F05%2F0149.xml&PC_7_2_5JM_navtype=RT&PC_7_2_5JM_parentnav=LATEST_RELEASES&PC_7_2_5JM_navid=NEWS_RELEASE#7_2_5JM

Changing direction

DICKINSON, N.D., Nov 14, 2006 (Agweek Magazine - McClatchy-Tribune Business News via COMTEX) -- Two years into a National Animal Identification Program, there is little agreement within the cattle industry about the program's goals, workability and cost.

And it's not clear whether or how a recent shift from a federally imposed mandate program to a voluntary one will change the timetable or its acceptance.

A roomful of ranchers, government officials and animal industry experts gathered Nov. 6 for an Animal ID Action Summit at Dickinson (N.D.) State University.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., co-hosted the event to give local ranchers an opportunity to hear an update on USDA's proposed program. Other co- hosts included Dickinson State University, North Dakota State University, NDSU Research Extension Center and the Red River Valley Research Corridor Coordinating Center.

The keynote federal speaker was J. Burton Eller Jr., deputy undersecretary of agriculture for marketing and regulatory programs.

Eller says the program is "about No. 2" on Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johann's list of priorities. He has promised registration of 25 percent of the nation's cattle premises by January.

"We're going to make that," Eller says, noting the turkey and poultry industries are cooperating because of their concerns about avian flu.

By 2009, 80 percent to 90 percent of the production and 70 percent to 90 percent of the premises will be done.

"We'll never get 100 percent there," he says, because there are so many small, under-the- radar niche market systems.

Third, the tracking or tracing is the final step. Many of the systems being considered are electronic tags. Johanns has decided to make the system "technology-neutral, that no one supplier has the magic wand and magic ear tag" and can control the market even if they have patents.

"I think the department, if we're to move animal identification into the next two phases, we're going to have to challenge those patents," Eller says. "We'll have to challenge them successfully because you can't have technology-neutral systems if one person thinks they own the patents."

Eller thinks the day will come where a "potload (semi- trailer load) of calves comes down the road and you just zap them with a radar gun and you know everything about everything on that load."

Industry people seem to think that's coming, he says, but issues of technologies and cost still are unresolved.

Eller, a native of Virginia, Says that for 10 years, the government had planned for animal trace-back to deal with something like an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease.

The effort had involved beef checkoff dollars and had input from various players, including packers, food chains, processors, feedlots, cow-calf and veterinarians.

Despite this, when a mad cow case was confirmed in the United States in December 2003, government moved hard and fast toward a mandatory animal ID program.

Initially, mandatory seemed to be the only way to do animal trace-back. But it soon became apparent there was not an epidemic of BSE and that the American public wasn't going to abandon beef consumption.

Under Johanns, the "mandatory" goal was dropped a few months ago, although North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson and others have criticized USDA for keeping the mandatory information on its Web site, three months after the decision to go voluntary.

Eller emphasizes that the program is voluntary.

"It will not return to mandatory, that would be my projection," Eller says, adding he doesn't "see mandatory animal ID reaching the floor of either house (in Congress) in the foreseeable future."

Jim Clement, a veterinary with the North Dakota Board of Animal Health, says some kind of animal trace-back system is necessary for health purposes, but he emphasizes the benefits of the state's existing brand system. Clement says North Dakota doesn't want to go through the tuberculosis problem that Minnesota has, where good high- quality breeding heifers have to be TB tested, which can cause a three-day delay before the cattle can be marketed.

"Our most immediate need is to design systems that can prevent that from ever happening in North Dakota," Clement says.

During the summit, Clement quoted liberally from a paper by Sam Holland, South Dakota's state veterinarian, who has said animal ID needs for animal health are not necessarily the same as for marketing. Holland has suggested that a non-electronic, cattle ID number on a little metal tag might be the direction to go. South Dakota has mandatory ID on all cattle sold for breeding.

Clement advocates brand systems for feeder cattle.

"I think we ought to let disease issues -- true disease issues -- drive the advent of our ID system, not let technology" drive the system.

North Dakota already has half-finished its premises registration under the federal system. For cattle, horses and mules, the North Dakota Stockmen's Association is the primary contractor. Coupled with unique brand numbers, associated with brands, the state already has the capacity to trace animals and identify "market cohorts."

Despite Eller's assurances that animal ID won't become mandatory, Clement says producers are suspicious. One USDA PowerPoint presentation on Sept. 9 says if the system fails to become common by 2009, there will be "regulatory events" that address lack of participation.

"What that suggests to me is mandatory," Clement says.

He says that no one has found a sponsor for legislation that would protect an individual's information from inquiry by a federal "freedom of information" request. Currently, states and private entities have the ability to create private databases.

Clement says North Dakota's database, for example, is only $15,000 a year, prorated over 10 years, including maintenance. State animal health officials, whom producers trust, would manage this.

Johnson says the only interest the state should have in animal ID is animal health -- not the performance data and marketing.

"That's not the government's role, it's the market's role," he says. There is some disagreement on how much the two systems can or will overlap.

Robert Cannell, director U.S. supply management for McDonald's Corp., was a panelist at the event. McDonald's buys about 1 billion pounds of hamburger just for its U.S. stores. McDonald's only wants federal regulators to have "the appropriate tools" to trace problems when they come up.

"Animal ID and traceability are important components to maintaining consumer confidence under certain circumstances," Cannell says. "Our goal is to have all livestock traceable to slaughter and information on all the steps along the way."

McDonald's isn't interested in having source-verification only for its own restaurants.

"What happens to the U.S. beef industry happens to McDonald's," he notes, drawing parallels to the widespread impact on the fresh spinach industry when localized California production was affected by an E. coli bacteria outbreak.

In the United States, consumers still have a great deal of trust in the government and scientists to keep its food safe -- beef in particular. Consumers trust the government more than the companies themselves.

Cannell says 9 percent of McDonald's beef is imported from Australia and New Zealand. While other beef or meat might come from Canada, where BSE incidents have been greater. Cannell says the beef comes from USDA-approved slaughter and it's impossible to distinguish from U.S. production.

"What I will tell you is, right now, animal ID traceability is something that many of our consumers actually already expect is in place," Cannell says. "That's the truth. We are not hearing from our consumers that they have a great deal of concern with country-of-origin labeling, for example."

But he says if there was an incident in Australia or New Zealand, being able to trace that and eliminate that source from McDonald's supply would "be something we'd have to look to do."

He says that while Canada has had more mad cow cases, Canadian cattle that make their way into McDonald's stores are slaughtered in U.S. plants or in "USDA-inspected" plants in Canada.

"Beyond that their ID -- their traceability -- is gone."

Eller had worked in the Farm Service Agency before moving to his current post.

"In my six weeks here, I've found that there is a wealth of difference in the perception of tracing versus tracking," Eller says, decrying the misinformation promulgated by bloggers and constitutionalists. Some have spread fears that the government intended a tracking system that would employ global positioning system technology to track animals to market and even horses to shows, he says.

Eller says there he's seen a "tremendous disconnect" between producers and the government on NAIS.

"I see a problem of understanding, a problem of trust, a problem of -- why should I care," Eller says. "And yet (the government) is moving ahead."

He says it's that disconnect that has led the government to back off and change to a voluntary program.

To see more of Agweek, or to subscribe to the magazine, go to

Well, today I'd like to tell you about some of the listening we've done on the National Animal Identification System. That's a good place for me to start. The system is one of the most important infrastructure initiatives in animal agriculture today. Our goal is to work hand-in-hand with producers and the states to enhance our collective ability to quickly identify animals that may be of concern in a disease outbreak.

When this system is fully implemented, we expect to be able to identify all potentially affected animals and premises within 48 hours of a disease detection.

You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone working in animal agriculture today who doesn't believe that's a worthy objective and an important investment for us to make. After all, the faster we identify affected animals and premises, the faster we are able to contain the disease.

But as with any major initiative touching so many segments of the industry, there are differing views on some pretty fundamental questions like whether data in the system should be publicly or privately held, how can we protect confidentiality of the data, and whether the data collection should be a voluntary system or a mandatory system.

Last year the USDA held a series of listening sessions around the country, some 16 in all as a matter of fact, to hear what folks around the country had to say. We also formed a special subcommittee under the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases that has widespread producer representation.

And in May as you know we published a detailed thinking paper outlining our proposed strategy for getting a mandatory system in place and framing some additional questions for stakeholders to contemplate.

In their responses, producers expressed concern about confidentiality when it comes to animal movement information. Without question, the participation of producers is absolutely essential to the success of an animal identification system. That's why we paid attention when producers asked that animal movement data be privately held.

Based on the feedback, I'm putting forth guiding principles today that allow animal movement data to be maintained in a private system that can be readily accessed when necessary by state and federal animal health authorities. This allows the industry to continue developing databases that house animal movement information, and we envision those databases feeding a single, privately-held animal tracking repository that we can access.

This initiative, or innovative approach, addresses producers' concerns while at the same time enabling federal and state officials to access information that we may need for disease control purposes.

There are a number of concepts being discussed in the private sector about how this should work and how it should be funded. USDA is not favoring any one of them over the other. USDA will be scheduling a stakeholder meeting this fall to clarify expectations for the private tracking system and discuss user requirements in system specifications.

In the meantime, USDA will be finalizing and releasing the program standards that were presented in the thinking paper. Beyond that, we will be looking to industry to come together to drive this leg of the journey.

I believe strongly this is the right approach. This system has always been about government and private partnership. USDA has invested a great deal, nearly $19 million in 2004, to get the infrastructure started. Most of that went to cooperative agreements with states and with tribes. For Fiscal Year 2005, we've invested another $33 million with about half of that going to additional cooperative agreements. And there's another $33 million in the President's 2006 Budget for additional infrastructure building.

We are making great progress in the area of premise registration with 100,000 premises now registered and plans to begin later this year allocating blocks of animal identification numbers to tag manufacturers.

With today's announcement, we begin work on the next step in developing the animal identification system, tracking animal movements. The only way the system will work is if stakeholders have a role in designing it, if all are truly, fully invested. The piece of the system that is the most producer-dependent is this piece dealing with tracking animal movements, and so it simply makes good sense for producers to design and to maintain that piece of the system.

Ultimately we know we will end up with a system that embodies the best that the private system and government have to offer.

I would be happy to answer your questions about the National Animal Identification System in just a moment.

But just briefly while we're speaking of tracing animals, I did want to mention that we've completed our epidemiological investigation related to the BSE animal identified in June. This very thorough investigation has been a tremendous example of partnership at the federal, state, and, I might add, the industry level. And we appreciate that.

It's worth nothing that this investigation would have taken far less than two months if we had the National Animal Identification System in place. That delay is not significant in terms of human or animal health because BSE is not a contagious disease. But the time it has taken to identify, locate, and test animals of interest is significant to our efforts to reopen export markets, because a number of trading partners have been reluctant to make decisions until the investigation is complete.

I am pleased that we are now in a position to close the investigation, communicate this information to our trading partners, and then move forward. I have with me today Dr. John Clifford, our chief veterinarian, along with Dr. Steve Sundlof of the Food and Drug Administration, to provide you with information about their conclusions. So I'll now turn the microphone to Dr. Clifford.

DR. JOHN CLIFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. As you said, the announcement of the guiding principles for the future of a public/private partnership for animal ID is a giant step forward for a national animal identification system. Because it was developed through the integration of premises registration, animal registration, and animal tracking, the NAIS has always been viewed as a government/industry partnership. Today's announcement affirms our commitment and eagerness to work with the industry to achieve the goals of the NAIS.

Now I want to turn to the completion of the epidemiological investigation that was conducted following the BSE detection in Texas in June. Many people worked very hard on the investigation, and I'd like to thank the Veterinary Services employees involved, our colleagues from the Food and Drug Administration, the owners of the animals, along with the Texas Animal Health Commission and the Texas Feed and Fertilizer Control Service for their outstanding work.

This investigation is another great example of federal, state, and local partners cooperating to help protect livestock health in this country.

I'll now summarize our findings. Our results indicate that the positive animal, called the "index animal." was born and raised on a ranch, termed the "index farm," in Texas. It was a cream-colored Brahma cross, approximately 12 years of age at the time of its death. It was born prior to the implementation of FDA's mandatory ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban in the U.S., and that ban was implemented in August 1997.

The animal was sold through a livestock sale in November of 2004 and transported to a packing plant. The animal was dead upon arrival. The animal was therefore refused by the packing plant. This refusal was consistent with USDA's safeguards to protect the meat supply from BSE.

The animal was then shipped to a pet food plant where it was sampled for BSE. The plant did not use the animal in its product, and the carcass was destroyed.

APHIS's epidemiological investigation attempted to trace all adult animals that left the index farm after 1990. The investigation also attempted to trace all progeny born within two years of the index animal's death.

Together these animals are called "animals of interest." These steps are consistent with the guidance for epidemiological investigations and to detections of BSE issued by the International Animal Health governing body or the OIE.

During the course of this investigation, USDA removed and tested a total of 67 animals of interest from the farm where the index animal's herd originated. All of these animals tested negative for BSE.

A total of 200 additional adult animals of interest were determined to have left the index farm. Of these 200, APHIS determined that 143 animals were slaughtered, 2 animals were found alive but one was determined not to be of interest because of its age, and the other tested negative for BSE. 34 animals were presumed dead, 1 is known dead, and the remaining 20 are classified as "untraceable."

In addition to the adult animals, we also looked for two calves born to the index animal. Due to record-keeping and identification issues, we had to trace 213 calves. Of these 213, 208 entered feeding and slaughter channels, 4 are presumed to have entered feeding and slaughter channels, and 1 calf was untraceable.


Once fully implemented, NAIS will enhance U.S. efforts to respond to intentionally or unintentionally introduced animal disease outbreaks more quickly and effectively. More information about NAIS is available at

This ID plan begins as a ''Voluntary'' system and then moves to ''mandatory, with enforcement''. Several states have already gone mandatory with animal ID. The first step is the registering of your ''Premise'' and getting a premise number. In January of 2008 all animals will be required to be electronically ID'd, and in January 2009, all movements of such animals will be mandatory according to the plan. Secretary of Agriculture Johannes said in his April 6, 2006 teleconference that this system wouldn't need to be made mandatory if 100% of livestock owners comply with every piece of this draft plan. He also claims that he has been authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill to implement a mandatory system and that no further votes or congressional action are required to make this system mandatory! You can read this on the USDA site also. Click on the news conferences link.


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 that."

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

Audit Report

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Surveillance Program – Phase II


Food Safety and Inspection Service

Controls Over BSE Sampling, Specified Risk Materials, and Advanced Meat Recovery Products - Phase III

Report No. 50601-10-KC January 2006

The USA is still feeding cows to cows as lates as Oct. 2006;

besides the other tons and tons of recall of potential BSE/BASE/TSE feed in
the USA in 2006;

> the need not to overstate risk in countries with a low BSE prevalence but
large cattle

> populations;

what about understating the risk???


On the Question of Sporadic

or Atypical Bovine SpongiformEncephalopathy and

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Paul Brown,* Lisa M. McShane,† Gianluigi Zanusso,‡ and Linda Detwiler§

3:00 Afternoon Refreshment Break, Poster and Exhibit Viewing in the Exhibit

3:30 Transmission of the Italian Atypical BSE (BASE) in Humanized Mouse
Qingzhong Kong, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pathology, Case Western Reserve
Bovine Amyloid Spongiform Encephalopathy (BASE) is an atypical BSE strain
discovered recently in Italy, and similar or different atypical BSE cases
were also reported in other countries. The infectivity and phenotypes of
these atypical BSE strains in humans are unknown. In collaboration with
Pierluigi Gambetti, as well as Maria Caramelli and her co-workers, we have
inoculated transgenic mice expressing human prion protein with brain
homogenates from BASE or BSE infected cattle. Our data shows that about half
of the BASE-inoculated mice became infected with an average incubation time
of about 19 months; in contrast, none of the BSE-inoculated mice appear to
be infected after more than 2 years. These results indicate that BASE is
transmissible to humans and suggest that BASE is more virulent than
classical BSE in humans.

6:30 Close of Day One

1997 TO 2006. SPORADIC CJD CASES TRIPLED, with phenotype
of 'UNKNOWN' strain growing. ...

There is a growing number of human CJD cases, and they were presented last
week in San Francisco by Luigi Gambatti(?) from his CJD surveillance

He estimates that it may be up to 14 or 15 persons which display selectively
SPRPSC and practically no detected RPRPSC proteins.

[Docket No. 03-025IFA] FSIS Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk
Materials for Human Food and Requirement for the Disposition of
Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle

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



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

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

Embassy of Japan

Dockets Entered on December 22, 2005
2005D-0330, Guidance for Industry and FDA Review Staff on Collection of
by Automated ... EC 203, McDonald's Restaurants Corporation, Vol #:, 34 ...

03-025IF 03-025IF-631 Linda A. Detwiler [PDF]
Page 1. 03-025IF 03-025IF-631 Linda A. Detwiler Page 2. Page 3. Page 4.
Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. Page 8. Page 9. Page 10. Page 11. Page 12.

03-025IF 03-025IF-634 Linda A. Detwiler [PDF]
Page 1. 03-025IF 03-025IF-634 Linda A. Detwiler Page 2.
Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. Page 8.

Page 1 of 17 9/13/2005 [PDF]
... 2005 6:17 PM To: Subject: [Docket
No. 03-025IFA]
FSIS Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk Materials for Human Food ...

03-025IFA 03-025IFA-6 Jason Frost [PDF]
... Zealand Embassy COMMENTS ON FEDERAL REGISTER 9 CFR Parts 309 et al
[Docket No. 03-
025IF] Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk Materials for Human Food and

In its opinion of 7-8 December 2000 (EC 2000), the SSC ... [PDF]
Page 1. Linda A. Detwiler, DVM 225 Hwy 35 Red Bank, New Jersey 07701 Phone:
Cell: 732-580-9391 Fax: 732-741-7751 June 22, 2005 FSIS Docket Clerk US ...

Full Text

Diagnosis and Reporting of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

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





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