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From: TSS (
Subject: Mad cows & politics -- 200 cattle at a central Alberta feedlot DEAD
Date: January 10, 2005 at 11:07 am PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Mad cows & politics -- 200 cattle at a central Alberta feedlot DEAD
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 10:00:47 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

Mad cows & politics

Playing Politics With Mad Cows

By J.R. Pegg

January 7, 2005

Senate committee members are more concerned about the impact of mad cow
disease on the US beef industry than with finding out if Mike Johanns is
qualified to be agriculture secretary.

The Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday unanimously approved the
nomination of Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns as U.S. agriculture
secretary, clearing the way for his likely confirmation by the full
Senate. Committee members spent little time discussing Johanns'
qualifications for the job and instead spent the majority of the hearing
airing renewed concerns about the impact of mad cow disease on the U.S.
beef industry.

The decision last week by the Bush administration to lift the 19-month
ban on Canadian beef imports drew particular scrutiny from members on
both sides of the aisle. The day after announcing the decision Canadian
officials confirmed the discovery of a second native case of mad cow
disease  the ban was put in place in May 2003 when Canada reported its
first case of the disease.

"Ranchers across the country are concerned, as they should be," said
Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss, the incoming chair of the committee.

Democrats highlighted fresh evidence that suggests the Canadian feed ban
is far from rigorous and is routinely allowing animal proteins into
cattle feed.

Cattle are naturally vegetarian, but additives made from rendered animal
byproducts can be part of their feed in commercial operations. As of
1997, by law, U.S. cattle cannot be fed byproducts from other ruminant
animals such as other cattle, sheep or goats, as they may carry the
misshapen proteins called prions that cause mad cow disease.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a series of import
alerts, Canadian regulators have discovered problems with 10 feed mills,
and more than 60 percent of recently tested samples of vegetarian animal
feed manufactured in Canada contained "undeclared animal materials."

"That raises an enormous red flag for us in respect to what Canada is
doing," said Senator Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat. "I am far
from convinced that Canada is effectively enforcing its own regulations."

Johanns, the son of an Iowa dairy farmer, declined to say if he would
reconsider the decision to lift the Canadian ban, which will become
effective March 7.

"As a nominee, I would not indicate any kind of decision to postpone,"
the 54-year-old Johanns told the committee. Johanns said he would focus
on animal and food safety and ensure "we are doing the right things in
those areas in terms of this rule and in terms of Canada."

Mad cow disease has emerged as a tricky, costly problem for the U.S.
beef industry since it was first found in the United States in December

The disease, officially known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE),
spreads from one animal to another by consumption of feed that has been
contaminated by protein  such as blood or meat meal  from an infected
animal. Humans come down with a parallel fatal brain wasting disease,
variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, by consuming beef from BSE-infected

The U.S. and Canadian governments banned the use of ruminant remains in
feed for cattle, goats and sheep in August 1997.

In the wake of the December 2003 discovery that a U.S. cow, originally
imported from Canada, was stricken with the disease, officials have
struggled to assure some trading partners that the nation's testing and
oversight are adequate.

At the top of the list is Japan, which imported more U.S. beef in 2003 
some $1.3 billion worth  than any other nation.

"We have got to get moving on this," said Senator Max Baucus, a Montana
Democrat. Baucus said the issue is largely one of trade politics, not
food safety, and criticized outgoing Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman
for not pressing the issue with the White House.

"This has to be bumped up to the presidential level," Baucus said.
"Otherwise it is just going to be a lot of talk and not a lot is going
to happen."

Although the U.S agriculture officials predict the nation's beef exports
will increase 35 percent this year, lawmakers note this is below
historical levels and contend that foreign bans on U.S. beef are harming
the industry. Tyson Foods, the world's largest supplier of chicken, beef
and pork, announced Thursday that it would temporarily cut operations at
four beef plants because of low demand and tight cattle supplies.

"This is a real indication that the rubber has hit the road," said
Senator Blanche Lincoln, an Arkansas Democrat. "We have to move these
discussions to another level  we are not getting anywhere in the
current approach we are taking."

Johanns said reopening the Japanese market would be "priority number
one" once he takes charge of the department.

"I will do everything I can to move aggressively on this," he said.
"Trade is a very, very significant issue for me. Nothing more
frustrating than working through a process that is not based on good
science, but that is based on politics."

Johanns said increased testing of U.S. cattle could prompt a reversal of
a ban on downer cattle, which are animals too sick or injured to walk.

"I supported Ann Veneman when she announced that  just to assure the
public that we were aggressively on top of this issue," Johanns told the
committee. "But gosh the testing that has been done and our animals have
done well."

U.S. regulators have tested some 165,000 cattle over the past year for
BSE, Johanns said, and the goal is "to test 250,000 or so and take a
look at how we are doing."

"We have a body of information we did not have before," he said.

J.R. Pegg is Washington D.C. Bureau Chief for Environment News Service.

BSE crisis partially blamed for Alberta cattle deaths

Last Updated Mon, 10 Jan 2005 10:12:49 EST
CBC News

PONOKA, ALTA. - The mad cow crisis is being partly blamed for the deaths
of more than 200 cattle at a central Alberta feedlot that had recently
been seized by a bank.

* INDEPTH: Mad Cow Disease

The cattle died on the Alberta feedlot because they were fed an
incorrect mix of feed, a veterinarian says.

The cattle were found dying or dead on the feedlot late last week, just
days after the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce took it over and left
it to be run by a receiver, Deloitte and Touche.

The feedlot's former owner, Rick Bonnett, said he lost the operation
because he fell millions of dollars into debt after the bovine
spongiform encephalopathy scare prompted the U.S. to close its border to
Canadian beef and cattle.

Bonnett said the animals were in good shape when he handed them over at
the feedlot near Ponoka, a town 95 kilometres south of Edmonton. He
expressed shock that so many cattle died so suddenly.

"We're in debt to them, but when you expect to have professionals
brought in and cattle to be fed, you expect that they're going to do ...
what they need to do to keep the cattle alive."

Kee Jim, a veterinarian called in Sunday to investigate the case, said
the animals were incorrectly fed barley and barley silage, causing
bloating and ultimately death.

"It becomes like a massive stomach ache, but in cattle that proves to be
fatal as they digest too much grain."

But Greg Stevens, a senior vice-president of Deloitte and Touche, denied
that the company hired to manage the feedlot made any mistakes and said
they were given incorrect feed information.

Stevens, who estimated that the total losses tallied up to about
$150,000, promised that the deaths would be fully investigated.

"Anybody would be upset to see dead animals. We've just got to get to
the bottom of what happened and prevent any further losses."

Animal welfare officials from the province's SPCA have also launched an

The country's cattle industry was devastated by American decision to
close its border to Canadian beef and cattle imports in 2003, after one
animal with BSE was discovered on an Alberta farm.

The crisis is estimated to have cost the industry millions of dollars.

* FROM JAN. 3, 2005: Canada has another confirmed case of mad cow

U.S. officials recently announced plans to reopen the border to young
live cattle and beef from Canada beginning March 7, despite the
confirmation of a second case of BSE in Alberta in January.

> Johanns said increased testing of U.S. cattle could prompt a reversal
> of a ban on downer cattle, which are animals too sick or injured to walk.
> "I supported Ann Veneman when she announced that  just to assure the
> public that we were aggressively on top of this issue," Johanns told
> the committee. "But gosh the testing that has been done and our
> animals have done well."

THIS guy is nuts... anyone can cherry pick animals and not find anything
if they want, and that is the case in the USA.
anytime the US finds a suspect mad cow, they either send it straight to
render without testing and or test it some
many times that they finally come up with a negative and dont confirm
that with a WB. just more BSeee...


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