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Well-known member
Feb 13, 2005
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NCBA lobbies in DC

Cattle group lobbies in D.C.

NCBA outlines its priorities for Congress

Associated Press

Apr. 18, 2005

BILLINGS, Mont. - At a time when both prices and consumer demand are strong, competing visions within the cattle industry are breeding divisiveness, the president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association says.

"In many ways, we've never had it better or been madder about it," Jim McAdams says.

Leaders of the cattle industry group spoke to reporters by phone from Washington, where they are trying to push some of their top priorities in Congress, including the repeal of the estate tax, an animal identification program and normalized trade with Canada and Japan.

The United States has not allowed live cattle from Canada since a case of mad cow disease was discovered there in May 2003. The federal government was set to begin allowing younger cattle into this country in March. But another ranchers' group, R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America, successfully sued to temporarily halt that.

Japan has banned U.S. beef since a cow in Washington state turned up with mad cow disease in December 2003. That cow had come from Canada.

NCBA leaders say it would be reasonable for Japan to set a date for the resumption of U.S. beef exports. They also have expressed frustration with the Canadian border issue and the R-CALF lawsuit.

McAdams says the group believes the case was filed for political and economic reasons by an "activist" group with an agenda.

"And we're going to do all we can to make sure that science wins, and not the politics," he says.

Bill Bullard, chief executive officer of R-CALF, says there are varied interests within the industry. He says his group is expressing the viewpoint of live cattle producers.

"Through R-CALF's actions, the voice of the independent producer has been raised significantly, and as a result, we see an increase in the profitability of live cattle producers," he says.

NCBA says it also sent a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns outlining issues it believes must be addressed for the industry to make progress on several fronts.
"Through R-CALF's actions, the voice of the independent producer has been raised significantly, and as a result, we see an increase in the profitability of live cattle producers," he says

Yep, the deceased ones aren't as profitable as they used to be! :)
Murgen said:
"Through R-CALF's actions, the voice of the independent producer has been raised significantly, and as a result, we see an increase in the profitability of live cattle producers," he says

Yep, the deceased ones aren't as profitable as they used to be! :)

Are you sure Murgen, Mike said the sale barns don't take downers any more but he also said
Who wants to take $100.00 for a dead one when you can get $500.00 to $600.00 at the sale barn?
:shock: :lol: :? :lol:
US to ease 'downer cattle' ban

Bush administration may ease 'downer cattle' ban

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2005 (Reuters) - The Bush administration said on Friday it may allow some injured cattle to be slaughtered for human food, easing a regulation that the Agriculture Department adopted 15 months ago after the nation's first case of mad cow disease.

Consumer groups said they oppose any changes in regulations aimed at keeping the deadly disease out of the food supply.

The USDA prohibited all so-called downer cattle -- those too sick or injured to walk -- from being slaughtered for human food soon after a Washington state dairy cow was diagnosed with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in December 2003.

The ban was part of a package of tighter USDA regulations to prevent mad cow disease, whose symptoms can include an inability to walk.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns suggested that the ban on downer cattle may be eased after the USDA completes an enhanced surveillance program of U.S. cattle later this year.

"There is a compelling argument: If you've got an animal that's clearly under 30 months that broke a leg in transit, there is no threat of BSE whatsoever," Johanns told reporters after addressing the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

"Why are we doing this? I'm going to thoughtfully consider those arguments," he added.

Scientists believe that mad cow disease is spread through contaminated livestock feed. Young animals are considered to pose the least risk of disease because BSE takes several years to incubate.

The ban on downer cattle being slaughtered for human food represents a sizable financial loss to cattle ranchers. For example, a 1,110-pound steer is worth around $1,000 if slaughtered for steaks and ground beef, but brings less than $200 if condemned as a downer and used for pet food.

About 195,000 cattle are downers out of more than 30 million slaughtered annually, according to industry estimates.

USDA officials previously said the department would review all of its anti-mad cow regulations after it completes an expanded testing program sometime in 2005. Johanns' comments on Friday were the most explicit to date of potential changes the government is examining.

"When we get to a point where we're ready to wrap up the increased surveillance and decide what next to do, I want to look at a range of issues," said Johanns, a former governor of Nebraska, a major cattle-producing state. Sen. Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat, will take part in the review, he said.

No other cases of BSE have been found in the U.S. cattle herd, despite expanded testing since June 2004.

As of April 10, the USDA tested 314,394 animals in its expanded surveillance program. That will be completed in the next few months, opening the door for USDA to propose changes based on its findings.

Consumer advocates said cattle unable to walk should not be used for human consumption.

"I'm not surprised to hear that the Bush administration might backtrack on important BSE protections if the surveillance program doesn't turn up additional positives," said Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

"Downer cattle represent less-healthy animals and should be kept out of the food supply," she added.

Other farm groups have expressed concern that the ban on downer cattle could eventually lead to a similar restriction on pigs sent to slaughter.

The package of mad cow prevention measures adopted by the USDA 15 months ago included a ban on using brains and small intestines from older cattle for human food and a ban on stunning cattle with a powerful air injection to the skull.

The Food and Drug Administration is still considering whether to ban the use of cattle blood as a protein supplement for calves and the use of chicken litter as cattle feed.
Oldtimer posted this a while back, Taiwan Lifts Beef Ban April 16
a couple of snips from his post

""We have testing procedures in place for downed cattle so importers can feel confident in the safety of the beef they are buying from the United States."

"All "downer" or ill cattle are monitored and tested upon slaughter. Since the middle of 2004, nearly 400 cows have been tested for BSE and all tests have come back negative. "


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