Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Mad cow plot thickens
(Former) slaughterhouse employee Dave Louthan reveals mad cow was not a downer
The USDA had us taking brain stem samples from downers and back door cripples only. Since we only had a few walkers on this trailer full of downers, we just killed her along with them. We took a brain sample from her head because the USDA gives up $10 per sample.

If we would have unloaded her in the pens, we would have never caught the BSE. How many other walkers have BSE? We will never know. The USDA only tested the downers and cripples and only at our plant. We had only been taking brain samples for about a month when we found this one.

Furthermore (according to UPI)
Federal agriculture officials did not test any commercial cattle for mad cow disease through the first seven months of 2003 in Washington state -- where the first U.S. case of the disease was detected last month -- according to records obtained by United Press International.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's records of mad cow screenings, conducted on 35,000 animals between 2001 to 2003, also reveal no animals were tested for the past two years at Vern's Moses Lake Meats, the Washington slaughterhouse where the mad cow case was first detected.

In addition, no mad cow tests were conducted during the two-year period at any of the six federally registered slaughterhouses in Washington state. This includes Washington's biggest slaughterhouse, Washington Beef in Toppenish -- the 17th largest in the country, which slaughters 290,000 head per year -- and two facilities in Pasco that belong to Tyson, the largest beef slaughtering company in the United States.

[Both via the invaluable Agribusiness Examiner]

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