AR-News: (US) Some cattle groups, states seek to weaken ban on downer cows

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Fri May 14 23:52:03 EDT 2004

WASHINGTON - Public comment on the U.S. Agriculture Department's ban on
allowing "downer" cattle into the food supply is running 10 to 1 in favor
of the restriction despite protests by several states and cattle groups.

The Associated Press reviewed roughly 440 written comments currently on
file with the USDA and found that about 400 were in favor of maintaining
the ban, while the rest favored relaxing it. Some responses received by
the USDA are not yet on file, and others that were received by e-mail are
also not on file.

Supporters of the ban cite health concerns and compassion as reasons to
keep it in place. Opponents say the ban should apply to diseased animals
but not to injured ones, which they say pose no health risk to humans.
Cattle groups said the ban was too broad and leads to pointlessly
condemning cattle that would otherwise bring money to farmers.

"If these (injured) animals are condemned, rather than slaughtered, then
producers will suffer an unnecessary economic loss," the National Milk
Producers Federation wrote. "Condemning animals suffering from a physical
injury such as a broken leg does not seem to be supported by science with
respect to BSE risk."

full story:

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