This from a Texas A&M "expert"? Sorry but the Washington cow sure did enter the food supply! That's why they did a recall and it was NOT all recovered. It's little wonder the US is so ill informed on what's been going on in Canada as they don't even know what has happened in their own country.
News not all bad for Texas rancher with infected cow
By MICHAEL GRACZYK Associated Press Writer The Associated Press
For the unidentified Texas rancher who recently learned one of his animals had the nation´s second case of mad cow disease, the news is not all bad.
Speculation of gloom and doom that coincided with the initial U.S. mad cow discovery 1 1/2 years ago in Washington state never happened. The beef market stayed strong. People never really panicked. And the farmer there was reimbursed for his losses.
"It would be interesting to see if this disease had a different name how it would be seen," said Kate Sandboe, spokeswoman for the Washington Department of Agriculture. "... It was really remarkable how quickly things settled down."
The U.S. Agriculture Department announced last week that a 12-year-old beef cow that tested positive for mad cow disease in November came from Texas. The ranch and owner weren´t named.
About six weeks after federal officials in December 2003 announced a cow in Washington had bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, commonly referred to as mad cow disease, the investigation was completed.
About 255 so-called "animals of interest" _ herd mates or relatives of the diseased cow _ were identified at 10 locations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. All were "depopulated," the federal jargon for killed. None of them had mad cow disease. In all, about 700 head of cattle were killed as a precaution.
"At the time, we didn´t know what we were dealing with in terms of how much BSE was in the United States," U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman Jim Rogers said. "There were guesses.
"Now we´ve tested just under 400,000 animals and we´ve found one case. Now we´re very confident to say if it´s here, it´s an extremely low level," he said.
Different procedures also are in place now to protect food safety, the ultimate goal, Rogers said. Animals that can´t walk, or downed animals, are banned from going into the food supply, and parts of cows that carry BSE _ brains, spinal cords, eyeballs _ must be removed before slaughter.
Neither the Washington cow nor the Texas cow entered the food supply. The safeguards now in place seem to put most consumers at ease, said Dave Mayes, with the Agriculture Extension Service at Texas A&M University.
After the Texas announcement, the beef market went down and then went up, Mayes said.
"I think the general public continues to surprise our experts. People aren´t in a panic mode on this. They discern it´s not, at least from what´s reported so far, it´s not a cause for real concern. It´s a fairly isolated issue," he said.
Texas is the nation´s biggest cattle state, accounting for 15 percent of the U.S. cattle inventory, or about 13.8 million head. The industry contributes $8 billion to the state´s economy, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture.
After the 2003 mad cow discovery, fears were high in Washington that the state´s cattle market would crater. Federal government experts suggested the industry nationwide could lose $15 billion and academic experts speculated it would not be surprising if a couple dozen infected animals were found.
Several countries banned U.S. beef imports, but the market remained strong, Sandboe said.
"What happened was just the opposite," Sandboe said of the economic impact. "Beef prices still are at an all-time high."
The infected Texas cow was sold through a livestock market last November and taken to a slaughterhouse where it was dead on arrival, the Agriculture Department said Friday. The cow wasn´t unloaded or presented to the slaughterhouse because it was dead, the department said.
Instead, it was shipped to a pet food plant in Waco that took brain samples for testing. The cow was a yellow or cream-colored Brahma cross, supposedly from a herd in southeast Texas.
"We know the rancher but we´re not giving out his location," Rogers said.
The department is trying to find offspring born in the past two years and herd mates born within one year of the infected cow´s birth, but officials said they don´t expect to find another mad cow case.
Rancher Bill Wavrin knows what´s in store for whomever the Texas owner is.
The first mad cow case in the United States was found on his farm in Mabton, Wash.
"That stretch where we didn´t know how many cows we would lose and what it would cost us was tough," he told the Agriculture Department in an interview published last August on the department´s Web site.
Even tougher, he said, was the unwanted media attention.
"There were literally miles of video vans and trucks with satellite dishes along the road to our house," he said. "That´s not the kind of attention a farmer craves."
But when it was over, Wavrin, also a veterinarian, said government agencies had treated him fairly, he was indemnified for any losses and he continues to strongly supports the testing program as beneficial to cattle raisers and customers.
"Anything we learn will benefit both of us," Wavrin said. "I don´t think it pays to hide from this."
Posted to MyPlainview: JULY 02, 2005 20:56 CST For the unidentified Texas rancher who recently learned one of his animals had the nation´s second case of mad cow disease, the news is not all bad.Speculation of gloom . . .