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Irish BSE - especially a new "BARB" case -- downw

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Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
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NE Oregon
Does anyone have an idea of the proportion of Dairy Cows found with BSE vs. Beef Cows?

I always said the first US BSE cow would be a dairy cow. 2 Reasons. First was condition of cattle these guys in our area would still try to get sold and money from. Don't remember ever seeing downer Beef cows at our sale barn, but these dairy guys would be bringing them in prior to dec 03.

Second, the rpoduction of milk pretty well drainsthese cows of all body reserves. I always felt this would result in susceptability and also more readily apparent outward signs,

I was chatting with some cattlemen friends from the UK a couple weeks ago. I asked the question of how many of the UK BSE cases were from dairy as compared to beef herds? They didnt have exact numbers but felt it was in the range of 90%. Their reasoning is that most dairy heifers are raised on the bottle, not the cow. This means feeding high protien feeds, and prior to '96 rendered bovine material was used in milk replacer and protien supplements. Also dairy herds are fed a prepared ration year round with high levels of protien supplements. The 10% that was from beef herds was thought to be from dairy cross females that we born and raised on a dairy and used for beef production.

I know this isn't science, but it seems to make Common Sense to me. Three of the 4 cows that tested positive here we either dairy cattle or fed prepared high protien feed as a young calf. I am not sure about the 1st Angus cow, but i suspect she is a escapee from the old Northwest Feeder Cattle project of the mid - late 90's, but thats just my semi-educated quess.

Tha is in line with my gut feel. And my post wasn't to throw rocks at the Dairy guys. I think your post further shows it could be the result of some things unique to them, not intentional mismanagement, although the guys that continue to pass off the cows on their last heartbeat really make me mad

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