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From: TSS ()
Subject: Costly new mad-cow rules a 'fiasco,' slaughterhouses complain
Date: July 9, 2007 at 7:33 am PST

Costly new mad-cow rules a 'fiasco,' slaughterhouses complain
Margaret Munro, CanWest News Service
Published: 4:39 am
CHILLIWACK. B.C. -- Cattle carcasses hang from giant hooks on the ceiling at B.C.'s largest slaughterhouse. Rivulets of blood and bone dust trail off into drains on the cement kill-room floor.

The animals' lungs sit in a bucket waiting for a local farmer to fetch them for his hungry mink. Other animal parts - the brains, spines and organs that can harbour the infectious prions that cause mad cow disease -disappear down special chutes. They fall into bins that will be taken by waste-hauling trucks along the Trans-Canada Highway to Calgary and turned into everything from chicken feed to dog chow.

But this elaborate and controversial recycling system becomes illegal in Canada this week as part of the federal government's sweeping "enhanced" feed ban.

Font: ****On Thursday, cattle tissues linked to the spread of mad cow disease must be removed from carcasses and destroyed or permanently contained. They are no longer allowed in pet or animal feed, and are banned from fertilizers and bone meal widely used on farms and home gardens.

The change sounds straightforward, but insiders say it is anything but.

"It's a bureaucratic nightmare," says Dave Fernie, who runs a small slaughterhouse in the B.C. interior.

Fernie and many others were still in limbo last week, waiting to find out if the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) would allow them to drop their high-risk tissues in landfills or if they have to ship it to a special processing plant in Alberta.

And the $80 million the Harper government promised to help ease the transition a year ago has yet to reach many people on the front lines whose bills are soaring as they scramble to meet the new rules.

"It's enormously frustrating," says Dennis Laycraft, executive vice-president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, which is asking the federal government for another $50 million to offset the "extraordinary" costs piling up because of government funding delays and continuing confusion about the rules.

"We're not asking for a handout to cattlemen," says Laycraft. The $50 million is needed, he says, to cover the escalating cost of getting the high-risk tissue collected and into landfills while the government resolves outstanding policy questions, and incinerators and other plants are built to destroy the risky tissues.

These so-called "specified risk materials," or SRM, include the skull, brain, eyes, tonsils, spinal cord and the nerves attached to the spinal cord and brain. They must be removed from slaughtered cattle 30 months or older. The distal ileum, a less than one-metre chunk of the small intestine, must be cut out of cattle of all ages.

Under the new rules, SRM must be removed using special equipment and precautions, hauled away in dedicated trucks, processed and then buried in landfills, burned in high-temperatures incinerators, or dumped into composters and bioenergy plants. Permits from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are required every step of the way.

The ban and its paper trail will stretch from the farm gate to slaughterhouses, rendering plants and landfills - which require not just special permits, but often costly renovations.

Costly new mad-cow rules a 'fiasco,' slaughterhouses complain
Margaret Munro, CanWest News Service
Published: 4:39 am
The 70-year-old company Johnston Packers, for instance, tucked on a mountainside near Chilliwack, B.C., needs a major overhaul: special filters on drains in the kill room to catch any bits over four millimetres in size, separate waste shoots, costly new saws and equipment for removing SRM, and an air-conditioned room dedicated to SRM storage.

Bonnie Windsor, assistant manager of the slaughterhouse, says the $1-million renovation project was derailed by delays in government funding; she and her colleagues have cobbled together an interim solution that entails erecting steel partitions in the kill room and segregating SRM so the plant can continue to operate when the new rules take effect. But there was no government financing available to help offset that cost - which she estimates at close to $200,000 - as the rules say funding for SRM renovations must be approved before the work is undertaken.

"We've been left to burn," says Windsor.

Font: ****At his meat plant in Big Lake, Fernie's voice shakes in frustration as he describes his dealings with CFIA over the ban. "It's been a fiasco," he says.

Fernie asked the CFIA more that a year ago whether he would be able to dump SRM into a dedicated pit at the nearby Big Lake landfill east of Williams Lake with the other waste from his slaughter operation. He was still waiting for an answer last week.

The federal government announced the feed ban a year ago, along with the promise of $80 million to help implement the new rules.

But the money didn't materialize until this spring, when federal Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl started divvying up the funding among the provinces after they agreed to kick in extra funding. The last of the federal-provincial deals to establish "a safe and effective disposal system" - a $3.8 million agreement with Prince Edward Island - was announced on June 29.

Federal officials concede there have been delays but say the responsibility does not lie solely with Ottawa.

The provincial governments are responsible for distributing the SRM implementation money under the various federal-provincial agreements, says Freeman Libby, national director of the CFIA's Feed Ban Task Force.

As for the SRM permits - and lack of them - Libby says the permitting process "is quickly picking up." He could not say how many permits have been issued, but says hundreds must be in place by Thursday to transport, store and dispose of the more than 100,000 tonnes of SRM generated in Canada each year.

"One of the key problems has been the fact that many landfills across the country have not submitted an application," said Libby. Disposal sites must be assessed to see if they meet the new SRM containment rules; the CFIA has hired extra staff and is working with the provinces and landfill operators to get the job done.



CanWest News Service

While small and remote slaughterhouses have acute problems with Canada's new mad-cow rules, most of the country is served by special, and pricey, disposal services for the high-risk tissues that will no longer be used in animal feed and fertilizer.

Costly new mad-cow rules a 'fiasco,' slaughterhouses complain
Margaret Munro, CanWest News Service
Published: 4:39 am
The rendering company West Coast Reduction has begun a pick-up service in Alberta, Saskatchewan and southern B.C. for specified risk materials (SRM) that must now be diverted out of slaughterhouses for disposal. The company's trucks will haul the segregated tissues to its plants in Saskatoon and Calgary for rendering. It will be reduced to tallow, which will be purified and sold for use in everything from cosmetics to industrial lubricants, says Barry Glotman, president of West Coast Reduction. The rest of the SRM will be compressed, "dewatered" and turned into meat and bone meal, which has the consistency of fine sand.

The meal will be hauled to Coronation, a small town in east-central Alberta, which is about to become SRM capital of Canada, says John Rush, district manager of Waste Services (CA) Inc., which runs the landfill where it is to be buried.

Rush says the plan is to mix the SRM meat and bone meal with contaminated soil from the oil industry, using a dedicated $600,000 bulldozer. The mixture will be buried in a seven-metre-deep clay-lined "cell" about the size of three football fields. Any liquid that runs out of the landfill will then be collected and pumped 1,500 metres underground. With 80 per cent of Canada's cattle in western Canada, it is expected the bulk of the country's SRM will end up in the Coronation landfill for the next few years until incineration facilities come online to burn it.

Font: ****Jim Long, vice-president of Rothsay, a rendering company that handles animal waste from Newfoundland to Winnipeg, says most of the SRM in eastern Canada is to be collected by dedicated trucks and rendered into dry meal before heading to the landfills.

Meat and bone meal from beef slaughter waste containing SRM material used to be worth about $200 a tonne and was used in animal feed and fertilizers. Now it will cost about $75 a tonne to get rid of the stuff, says Dennis Laycraft of the Canadian Cattleman's Association.

The costs will eventually trickle back down to farmers and consumers, says Glotman.

© CanWest News Service 2007

> The animals' lungs sit in a bucket waiting for a local farmer to fetch them for his hungry mink.

IN this day and time, i wonder if any of the mink are ever tested for TME ?

Over the next 8-10 weeks, approximately 40% of all the adult mink on the farm died from TME.
Since previous incidences of TME were associated with common or shared feeding
practices, we obtained a careful history of feed ingredients used over the past 12-18
months. The rancher was a "dead stock" feeder using mostly (>95%) downer or dead dairy
cattle and a few horses. Sheep had never been fed.



To minimise the risk of farmers' claims for compensation from feed

To minimise the potential damage to compound feed markets through adverse publicity.

To maximise freedom of action for feed compounders, notably by
maintaining the availability of meat and bone meal as a raw
material in animal feeds, and ensuring time is available to make any
changes which may be required.




MAFF remains under pressure in Brussels and is not skilled at
handling potentially explosive issues.

5. Tests _may_ show that ruminant feeds have been sold which
contain illegal traces of ruminant protein. More likely, a few positive
test results will turn up but proof that a particular feed mill knowingly
supplied it to a particular farm will be difficult if not impossible.

6. The threat remains real and it will be some years before feed
compounders are free of it. The longer we can avoid any direct
linkage between feed milling _practices_ and actual BSE cases,
the more likely it is that serious damage can be avoided. ...

SEE full text ;

it's all about money folks $$$

WHAT about TME and cattle ?

Title: Experimental Transmission of Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy (Tme) to Cattle by Intracerebral Inoculation


Hamir, Amirali
Kunkle, Robert
Miller, Janice - ARS RETIRED
Greenlee, Justin
Richt, Juergen

Submitted to: International Veterinary Vaccines and Diagnostics Conference
Publication Type: Abstract
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2006
Publication Date: June 25, 2006
Citation: Hamir, A.N., Kunkle, R.A., Miller, J.M., Greenlee, J.J., Richt, J.A. 2006. Experimental transmission of transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) to cattle by intracerebral inoculation [abstract]. 4th International Veterinary Vaccines and Diagnostics Conference. p. 89. Paper No. PO53.

Technical Abstract: To compare clinicopathological findings of transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) with other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE, prion diseases) that have been shown to be experimentally transmissible to cattle (sheep scrapie, and chronic wasting disease, CWD), 2 groups of calves (n = 4 each) were intracerebrally inoculated with TME agents from 2 different sources (mink with TME and a bovine with TME). Two uninoculated calves served as controls. Within 15.3 months post inoculation (PI), all animals from both inoculated groups developed clinical signs of central nervous system (CNS) abnormality; their CNS tissues had microscopic spongiform encephalopathy (SE); and PrP**res was detected in their CNS tissues by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blot (WB) techniques. These findings demonstrate that intracerebrally inoculated cattle not only amplify TME PrP**res but also develop clinical CNS signs and extensive lesions of SE. The latter has not been shown with other TSE agents (scrapie and CWD) similarly inoculated into cattle. The findings also suggest that the diagnostic techniques currently used for confirmation of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) would detect TME in cattle should it occur naturally. However, it would be a diagnostic challenge to differentiate TME in cattle from BSE. Our recent preliminary results indicate that WB may be able to differentiate between bovine TME and BSE.


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