Thursday, June 23, 2005
thursday thunder; there were four cows...?
In the mad cow scare that lingers on, there was not one but 4 patient zero... the un-fantastic four? (Had to try to tie in a movie that is to be released within days into this... why not, hmm? *lol* Four weeks in the top grossers is all I give that one too... by the way...!).
My... I expected, well, something more ominous for the apocalypse...
The Four... COWS of the Apocalypse?!? Sheesh...
It wasn't a foursome out of these bovine rebels by any chance - was it?
Cows With Guns
Fact is... mad cow disease is a very serious threat out there... (and no; I am not being sarcastically cute and meaning it... ah... figuratively... at all! Ok?) so... disregard my humor and fear... your hamburger meat this summer!
WASHINGTON (AP) - There is still a risk, though slight, of mad cow disease in the United States, and it is greatest in the three Northwestern states bordering Canada, according to Agriculture Department investigators.
The investigators, after tracing the history of the four cows with the disease in North America, said the U.S. has minimized the risk by banning cattle remains in feed, the primary way mad cow disease is believed to spread.
Three infected Canadian cows, including one from Alberta that turned up in the United States, probably ate feed contaminated with the same infected remains, and a fourth may have as well, investigators said.
A team of four epidemiologists from the agency's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service went to Canada to review the country's investigations into the four cows confirmed to have mad cow disease, the common name for bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE.
An Agriculture Department spokesman said Friday that the findings affirm the agency's plan to reopen the Canadian border to cattle shipments, which were banned after Canada's first case of mad cow disease in May 2003. A federal judge in Montana has ruled the border must remain closed while a lawsuit brought by ranchers makes its way through the legal system.
"The safeguards in place in Canada, in combination with our own domestic safeguards, have really been shown to be an effective means for protecting consumers and livestock," spokesman Ed Loyd said.
People who eat meat contaminated with BSE can contract variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a fatal brain disease that incubates for years after exposure. Since the mid-1990s, the disease has killed nearly 150 people, most of them in Britain.
In its report, the team said the northwestern United States, particularly Washington, Idaho and Montana, could be considered at higher risk of exposure to BSE because it imported a substantial amount of cattle from western Canada along with a small amount of high-risk meat and bone meal. However, they said the feed ban and other measures "have effectively minimized the risk of transmission or amplification of the BSE agent."
The infected North American cows were all born in Canada, although one was diagnosed with mad cow disease after being shipped to Washington state. All four cows appear to have been infected by feed contaminated with infected cattle remains either before or soon after Canada and the United States banned remains in feed in 1997, the report said.
Investigators said three of the four cattle probably ate feed that had contaminants from the same source, a rendering plant not identified in the report. Rendering plants take inedible byproducts, process them into meat and bone meal and ship the meal to feed mills and farms.
The rendering plant shipped meat and bone meal into the United States, but the report said it didn't go into cattle feed. Most of it was exported to Asia and the rest was added to poultry feed, the report said.
Investigators couldn't pin down a link between the rendering plant and the fourth infected cow, although they said it was born in close proximity to the other three and was exposed at about the same time.
The team said highest-risk animals in the United States today are probably purebred cattle between 6 and 9 years of age from Alberta or Saskatchewan, based on the origin of the infected cows and other risk factors.
The team surmised that of the 18,000 breeding cattle shipped from Alberta to the United states in 1997 and 1998, about 540 may still be alive in the United States.
Investigators also tracked the animals born in the same herd within a year of the infected cows or born to them, and of those, 29 were shipped to the United States. Investigators were unable to find 11 of those animals; 18 were slaughtered for their meat or killed for other reasons.
On the Net:
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: http://www.aphis.usda.gov
Even with the safeguards put in place, it is still a scary disease! So many people eat beef every day, and don't even think about the mad cow disease!
The Un-fantastic four! Defenately that is what those cows were!
Four Cows of the Apocalypse? Hmmm?
Maybe the 4 horsemen are really four cattlemen riding cows instead of horses?
That animation Cows With Guns is pretty funny. It was amooosing = amusing.
Although they (the animators) must not know the difference between a cow and a bull!
All the cattle shown in the animation were drawn to be cows or heifers. None of them were bulls!
Yet the guru was said to be a male, HE did this and HE did that. Yet he also had an UDDER!
Only the cows = females have udders! lol
I wonder if anyone has told them their mistake!
What's next Chickens in Choppers, that are said to be males =(roosters), but are drawn as hens= females? lol
Your hamburger might just make you MAD if you eat it!
Eat Chicken and Fish instead!
Thanks for bringing this scary topic up to us! You have brought up some "Things that make you go Hmmmm?"