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From: TSS ()
Subject: FSIS Publishes Final Rule Prohibiting Processing of "Downer" Cattle
Date: July 12, 2007 at 10:40 am PST

FSIS Publishes Final Rule Prohibiting Processing of "Downer" Cattle

Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113
Steven Cohen

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2007 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced a permanent prohibition on the slaughter of cattle that are unable to stand or walk ("downer" cattle) when presented for pre-slaughter inspection. The inability to stand or walk can be a clinical sign of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).

Under the rule, cattle that are injured after they pass pre-slaughter inspection will be reevaluated to determine their eligibility for slaughter. Veal calves that cannot stand because they are tired or cold may be set apart and held for treatment and re-inspection.

The rule published in the July 13 Federal Register makes permanent what had been an interim final rule prohibiting slaughter of non-ambulatory cattle in the United States. The final rule becomes effective Oct. 1, 2007.

"This final rule further strengthens our public health controls at slaughter plants across the United States," said USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond. "Less than three weeks after the December 2003 BSE detection in an imported cow, USDA moved quickly and decisively to put in place interim rules that greatly reduced the risk of human exposure. Experience has borne-out that these interim steps were correct and should be made permanent."

On Jan. 12, 2004, FSIS issued a series of three interim final rules in response to the first BSE diagnosis on Dec. 23, 2003. Those rules had prohibited for human consumption non-ambulatory "downer" cattle and cattle tissue identified as specified risk materials (SRMs); banned the use of high pressure stunning devices that could drive SRM tissue into the meat; and established requirements for Advanced Meat Recovery systems.

The rule requires that spinal cord must be removed from cattle 30 months of age and older at the place of slaughter. It also mandates that records must be maintained when beef products containing SRMs are moved from one federally inspected establishment to another for further processing.

Countries that have received the internationally recognized BSE status of "negligible risk" are not required to remove SRMs because their system controls prevent the introduction and spread of BSE.

FSIS will conduct outreach sessions with industry to ensure that the provisions of the final rule are fully understood by all affected establishments.

Comments on the new information collection requirements must be received by Sept. 11, 2007. For further information, contact: Dr. Daniel Engeljohn, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy, Program and Employee Development, FSIS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-3700, or by phone at (202) 205-0495.

Last Modified: July 12, 2007


No. 04-047-l

No. 04-021ANPR

No. 2004N-0264


Federal Measures to Mitigate BSE Risks: Considerations for Further Action

Greetings FDA, USDA and APHIS et al,

From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. []
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2005 6:17 PM
Subject: [Docket No. 03-025IFA] FSIS Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk Materials for Human Food and Requirements for the Disposition of Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle

Greetings FSIS,

I would kindly like to submit the following to [Docket No. 03-025IFA] FSIS Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk Materials for Human Food and Requirements for the Disposition of Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle THE BSE/TSE SUB CLINICAL Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle Broken bones and such may be the first signs of a sub clinical BSE/TSE Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle ; SUB CLINICAL PRION INFECTION MRC-43-00 Issued: Monday, 28 August 2000 NEW EVIDENCE OF SUB-CLINICAL PRION INFECTION: IMPORTANT RESEARCH FINDINGS RELEVANT TO CJD AND BSE A team of researchers led by Professor John Collinge at the Medical Research Council Prion Unit1 report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, on new evidence for the existence of a ?sub-clinical? form of BSE in mice which was unknown until now. The scientists took a closer look at what is known as the ?species barrier? - the main protective factor which limits the ability of prions2 to jump from one species to infect another. They found the mice had a ?sub-clinical? form of disease where they carried high levels of infectivity but did not develop the clinical disease during their normal lifespan. The idea that individuals can carry a disease and show no clinical symptoms is not new. It is commonly seen in conventional infectious diseases. Researchers tried to infect laboratory mice with hamster prions3 called Sc237 and found that the mice showed no apparent signs of disease. However, on closer inspection they found that the mice had high levels of mouse prions in their brains. This was surprising because it has always been assumed that hamster prions could not cause the disease in mice, even when injected directly into the brain. In addition the researchers showed that this new sub-clinical infection could be easily passed on when injected into healthy mice and hamsters. The height of the species barrier varies widely between different combinations of animals and also varies with the type or strain of prions. While some barriers are quite small (for instance BSE easily infects mice), other combinations of strain and species show a seemingly impenetrable barrier. Traditionally, the particular barrier studied here was assumed to be robust. Professor John Collinge said: "These results have a number of important implications. They suggest that we should re-think how we measure species barriers in the laboratory, and that we should not assume that just because one species appears resistant to a strain of prions they have been exposed to, that they do not silently carry the infection. 9/13/2005

Terry S. Singeltary 2

Page 2 of 17

This research raises the possibility, which has been mentioned before, that apparently healthy cattle could harbour, but never show signs of, BSE. "This is a timely and unexpected result, increasing what we know about prion disease. These new findings have important implications for those researching prion disease, those responsible for preventing infected material getting into the food chain and for those considering how best to safeguard health and reduce the risk that theoretically, prion disease could be contracted through medical and surgical procedures." ISSUED FRIDAY 25 AUGUST UNDER EMBARGO. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE EMBARGO IS SET BY THE JOURNAL. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT THE MRC PRESS OFFICE ON 020 7637 6011 (OFFICE HOURS) OR 07818 428297 OR 0385 774357 (OUT-OF-OFFICE-HOURS) OR PROFESSOR JOHN COLLINGE ON 020 7594 3760. PLEASE NOTE THAT OWING TO TRAVEL COMMITMENTS PROFESSOR COLLINGE WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE UNTIL 16.30 ON FRIDAY 25 AUGUST AND CONTACTABLE AGAIN ON MONDAY 28 AUGUST VIA THE MRC PRESS OFFICE. DR ANDREW HILL (A CO-AUTHOR ON THE PAPER) FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF PATHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON 00 61 3 8344 3995 (DURING OFFICE HOURS) OR 00 61 3 9443 0009 (OUT-OF-OFFICE HOURS). PLEASE NOTE THAT AUSTRALIA IS TEN HOURS AHEAD OF UK TIME. NOTES FOR EDITORS Professor Collinge is a consultant neurologist and Director of the newly formed MRC Prion Unit based at The Imperial College School of Medicine at St Mary?s Hospital. He is also a member of the UK Government?s Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC). The MRC prion unit is was set up in 1999, and its work includes molecular genetic studies of human prion disease and transgenic modelling of human prion diseases. Prions are unique infectious agents that cause fatal brain diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans and scrapie and BSE (mad cow disease) in animals. In some circumstances prions from one species of animals can infect another and it is clear that BSE has done this to cause the disease variant CJD in the UK and France. It remains unclear how large an epidemic of variant CJD will occur over the years ahead. The strain of prion used here to infect the mice is the Sc237 strain (also known as 263K) which infects hamsters, and until now was assumed not to infect mice. This research was funded by the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust. The Medical Research Council (MRC) is a national organisation funded by the UK tax-payer. Its business is medical research aimed at improving human health; everyone stands to benefit from the outputs. The research it supports and the scientists it trains meet the needs of the health services, the pharmaceutical and other health-related industries and the academic world. MRC has funded work which has led to some of the most significant discoveries and achievements in medicine in the UK. About half of the MRC?s expenditure of £345 million is invested in over 50 of its Institutes and Units, where it employs its own research staff. The remaining half goes in the form of grant support and training awards to individuals and teams in universities and medical schools. The Wellcome Trust is the world's largest medical research charity with a spend of some £600 million in the current financial year 1999/2000. The Wellcome Trust supports more than 5,000 researchers, at 400 locations, in 42 different countries to promote and foster research with the aim of improving human and animal health. As well as funding major initiatives in the public understanding of science, the Wellcome Trust is the country's leading supporter of research into the history of medicine. SNIP...FULL TEXT; 9/13/2005
Page 3 of 17


Cattle and Calves

Released May 5, 2005, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department
of Agriculture. For information on Non-ambulatory Cattle and Calves call Mike Miller at 720-3040, office hours 7:30 a.m. to
4:30 p.m. ET.

Non-Ambulatory Cattle and Calves

Non-ambulatory cattle and calves in the United States totaled 465,000 head during 2003 and
450,000 head during 2004. The number of non-ambulatory cattle 500 pounds or greater totaled
280,000 head in 2003 and 270,000 head in 2004. The number of calves under 500 pounds reported
as non-ambulatory totaled 185,000 head in 2003 and 180,000 head in 2004.

The number of operations that reported non-ambulatory cattle and calves was 103,000 in 2003 and
81,000 in 2004. In 2003, there were 66,800 beef cow operations reporting non-ambulatory cattle
and calves compared to 49,700 in 2004. There were 22,800 dairy operations reporting nonambulatory
cattle and calves in 2003 compared to 23,000 in 2004.

This report is released as a cooperative effort between the National Agricultural Statistics Service
and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Veterinary Services. Data for this report were
collected on the January 1, 2004 and 2005 Cattle Surveys.


Date: May 2, 2006 at 6:50 pm PST


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