AR-News: US 'downer' ban hurts cattle producers -lawmakers

Animalconcerns info at
Wed Jan 21 23:00:09 EST 2004

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. ban on using sick and injured
cattle as human food will put a financial strain on cattle producers,
farm-state lawmakers said on Wednesday.

Some of the lawmakers said the government should pay producers for getting
their "downer" cattle tested for mad cow disease.

Without an incentive, farmers, ranchers and feedlot operators might kill
downer cattle rather than haul them to a rendering plant or some other
site for testing, they said.

A 1,100-pound (500-kg) steer can be worth several hundred dollars when
sold for slaughter but it sells for a pittance if categorized as a downer
fit only for pet food or nonfood products, lawmakers told Agriculture
Secretary Ann Veneman.

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