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Expert says BSE is here to Stay

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Anonymous

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Export fears mad cow disease here to stay

Monday, 11/07/2005

A world veterinary expert on mad cow disease says it is impossible to eradicate because too many countries will not implement proper bans on meat and the bone meal trade.

Dr Danny Matthews from Britain's top bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) laboratory is addressing the Global Livestock Feed and Food Congress, which begins in Brazil today.

He says commercial considerations are outweighing sensible decision making.

"Inevitably, there's a reluctance in most countries that have not yet recognised BSE to put in place very rigorous controls because of the cost to their country and to their industry," he said.

"It's all very well saying, 'well we have banned the importation of meat and bone meal from a particular country', but if you purchase meat and bone meal from another country and feed it to cattle, how do you know that the bone meal you're buying actually came from that country of origin?"
 

nenmrancher

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USDA posts daily epidemiological reports

July 8, 2005



USDA is posting daily reports on the current epidemiological BSE investigation that you may find useful. Find the reports at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/epi-updates/bse-epi_report.html.



Within the last few days, USDA created a detailed inventory of the herd of origin for the positive cow and segregated cattle of interest. USDA is identifying and evaluating animals in the herd that were in similar birth groups as the infected animal and/or shared feed regimens. When identified, these animals are removed from the herd for testing. The infected animal’s last two calves are animals of interest, both of which are being traced through sale barn records. Most of the marketed cattle from the farm were historically sold at two sale barns. Sales and vaccination records are being reviewed.

The latest report, dated today, says that to date, 29 adult animals have been transported to a collection site, euthanized and sampled for BSE testing.


HAS ANYONE ELSE SEEN THIS?
 
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Anonymous

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nenmrancher said:
USDA posts daily epidemiological reports

July 8, 2005



USDA is posting daily reports on the current epidemiological BSE investigation that you may find useful. Find the reports at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/epi-updates/bse-epi_report.html.



Within the last few days, USDA created a detailed inventory of the herd of origin for the positive cow and segregated cattle of interest. USDA is identifying and evaluating animals in the herd that were in similar birth groups as the infected animal and/or shared feed regimens. When identified, these animals are removed from the herd for testing. The infected animal’s last two calves are animals of interest, both of which are being traced through sale barn records. Most of the marketed cattle from the farm were historically sold at two sale barns. Sales and vaccination records are being reviewed.

The latest report, dated today, says that to date, 29 adult animals have been transported to a collection site, euthanized and sampled for BSE testing.


HAS ANYONE ELSE SEEN THIS?

July 11, 2005, 4:31PM

Quarantine lifted after ranch cleared of mad cow
Associated Press



LUBBOCK, Texas — After negative tests on 67 of its animals, the ranch that produced the first native case of mad cow disease had a quarantine lifted today by Texas animal health officials.

The negative results for the brain-wasting disease came back on animals tested from the herd because of their age proximity to the 12-year-old diseased cow. Those destroyed for testing were born the year before, the year of and the year after the infected animal's birth.

No recent offspring of the Brahma cross beef cow were destroyed for testing, said Larry Cooper, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The lifting of the hold order, which went into effect June 10 when U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced he was sending samples to England for further testing, will allow animals to come and go from the ranch. The location of the ranch has not been disclosed.

USDA officials will now focus on checking market documents to trace animals of the same age who may have left the ranch. The USDA has reviewed some transaction documents, but there are no regulations for how long markets are required to keep them, Cooper said.

"We're pretty confident that we can track a good number of them," Cooper said.

The infected animal had a history of "erratic behavior" and had fallen a couple of times, Cooper said. It was born before a 1997 ban on feeding cattle protein or bone meal made from other cattle or other ruminants.

The cow did not enter the human food supply.

The animal did not fall when it was loaded to go to a slaughterhouse Nov. 15, four days after being sold at market, and therefore was not tagged as a downer animal. It was dead on arrival at the slaughterhouse and taken later that day to a Champions Pet Food plant in Waco.

A downer animal is one too sick or weak to walk by itself. Downers have a higher risk of the brain-wasting disease.

Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, eats holes in the brains of cattle and is incurable. The disease is a public health concern because humans can develop a brain-wasting illness, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, from consuming contaminated beef products.

The negative tests on the 67 animals were not unexpected, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association spokesman Matt Brockman said.

"We've got a robust (surveillance) system here, and I think that's underscored by these test results," he said.

Testing for mad cow disease in the United States has been limited to "high risk" cattle, which includes downer cows; cattle exhibiting signs of a central nervous system disorder or other signs that may be associated with mad cow; and dead cattle.

Since June 2004, six months after a Canadian-born Holstein shipped to Washington state became the first U.S. case of the disease, the USDA has tested more than 400,000 cows. In 2003, the U.S. tested 20,543 animals.

Initial screening on the Texas cow indicated the presence of the disease, but results from more sophisticated tests were negative, and the department declared the animal to be free of mad cow disease.

The USDA's internal watchdog ordered another round of tests last month that came back positive, and a laboratory in England confirmed the results June 24.
 

Mike

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BSE is here to stay?

Watching the Discovery channel a while back. Some scientists have discovered prions in a cave somewhere in France. They think that the Neanderthals were cannibals and a prion disease led to their demise.

Was also reading about the investigation of "Mad Cows" in England. They have documented cattle as early as the 1960's that exhibited signs of BSE and are sure they were positives.

Scrapie has been around some 300+ years - from records of old sheepherders.
 

Brad S

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What about an effort to wipe out scrappie?

If the Scrappie link is to be believed, the US/Candaada is at a low risk because of the low sheep numbers and high cow numbers.
 

Mike

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Brad S said:
What about an effort to wipe out scrappie?

If the Scrappie link is to be believed, the US/Candaada is at a low risk because of the low sheep numbers and high cow numbers.

New York Scrapie Eradication Program
for New York Sheep and Goat Producers



History of Scrapie

The disease known as scrapie has been recognized for more than 250 years. The unusual name was coined from sheep trying to relieve the intense itching which results in "scraping" off the wool. In 1947, scrapie was introduced into a Michigan flock through sheep imported from Britain. Scrapie has spread throughout the U.S. since that time.

The Cause

Scrapie is a member of a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), which are caused by an infectious protein called prions. After prions are ingested, they enter the lymphatic system and travel to lymph nodes. After many months, the prions are found in the brain where they cause "holes" in the brain tissue giving it a sponge-like appearance. Other TSE-type diseases are Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in deer and elk, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans.

A Slow Developing Disease

Sheep (and goats) are infected at a very young age, but may not show symptoms of disease until two to six years of age. Goats are susceptible to scrapie when raised together with sheep but do not appear to spread the disease. Since scrapie affects the central nervous system, it can be confused with a number of other diseases, however it is always fatal. Symptoms develop slowly and may go unrecognized at first. Symptoms may include:

Weight loss despite normal appetite
Behavioral changes
Excessive itching and rubbing
Wool pulling or biting
Lip smacking
Loss of coordination
Startling at sudden noise or movement
High-stepping gait (front legs)
Bunny-hop movement (rear legs)
Tremors
Swaying of back-end
Down and unable to stand
Death
Scrapie Diagnosis

A positive diagnosis of scrapie in a flock is based on symptoms, duration of illness, and submission of brain tissues from an affected animal. The presence of prions in a microscopic section of brain tissue is the only method to be certain that sheep are infected with scrapie. A test of lymph tissue contained in the third eyelid of sheep can be performed by a regulatory veterinarian in some instances, but this test is not used for routine scrapie diagnosis. If you suspect that one of your sheep may be infected with scrapie, you should contact your local veterinarian for a diagnosis.

Scrapie and Genetics

Research has shown that certain genes in the DNA of sheep play a role in the development of scrapie. A simple DNA test on a blood sample can reveal the resistance or susceptibility of sheep to scrapie. Resistance or susceptibility can be determined by an approved laboratory by examining the DNA at Codon 171 of the genetic make-up. Letter designations are reported for each strand of the DNA. An "R" at Codon 171 indicates resistance to scrapie, whereas, a "Q" indicates susceptibility. Three combinations are possible since there are two strands of DNA:

RR = Highly resistant
QR = Moderate resistance
QQ = Susceptible

By knowing the genetics of breeding animals, producers will have the ability to breed more resistance to scrapie into their flock. Producers who retain their own replacement ewe lambs can begin influencing their flock resistance to scrapie by selecting rams that have been DNA tested and certified by an approved lab as carrying the "RR" gene at Codon 171. In the future, this new research will hopefully greatly increase a flock’s resistance to scrapie. There is no genetic test available for goats at this time.

Scrapie Eradication Program

USDA also offers assistance in the eradication of scrapie by utilizing genetics in a flock based clean-up plan by surveying cull ewes at slaughter. Infected ewes are traced back to their originating flock, which is DNA tested and susceptible sheep are removed.
USDA covers the costs associated with the clean-up of infected flocks including the DNA testing and indemnification for infected and susceptible sheep at fair market value. Other aspects of the eradication program include identification of sheep and goats with official USDA scrapie tags in:
Sheep and goats of any age being sold for breeding or as a pet
All sheep and goats being exhibited
All sheep and goats (wethers included) over 18 months old, in slaughter channels. This includes animals going to a livestock market or directly to a slaughter plant.
Producers must also keep good records including names and addresses of purchases and sales of sheep from the flock.

Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program

USDA provides producers the opportunity to further protect sheep from scrapie and to enhance the marketability of animals through certifying scrapie-free flocks. The program monitors flocks over a period of five years or more to identify flocks that are free of scrapie.

Because there is no live animal test for this disease and scrapie has a long incubation period, a flock is considered free of disease if no sheep have been diagnosed with scrapie over a period of time.

The economic value of animals in enrolled flocks increases the longer they are in the program, especially once the flock is certified. Animals from certified flocks are a valuable source for replacement breeding animals, especially when the genetics of the replacements are known. A list of flocks enrolled in the certification program and their status is available on the USDA web site.

To participate in the program, flock owners must:
Report any scrapie suspects immediately to animal health official.
Officially identify all sheep over one year of age or when a change of ownership occurs (except slaughter).
Maintain adequate records including all sales, purchases, births and deaths for a minimum of five years.
Agree to an annual inspection by regulatory health officials for symptoms of scrapie, record completeness, and verifying identification of the flock.
Purchase replacement breeding animals from flocks of equal or higher status.
 

PORKER

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There won't be any TSE's with urine tests for all animals that can carry them.We got rid of Hog Cholera didn't We when everyone was required to TEST.
 

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