Ignorant question about Mad Cow Disease.

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by oz in SC, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Isn't Mad Cow Disease from the feeding of certain body parts of other animals to the cows in the feed?

    If this is the case,shouldn't the removal of the body parts stop the disease eventually? :confused:

    Perhaps it isn't that simple.
     
  2. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    Mad cow is perpetuated by feeding infected nervous tissue back to cows. This nervous tissue could be from other cows or other ruminants (like sheep with scrapie). The nervous tissue is obviously found in large amounts in the brain and spinal cord, but it is also found in meat and bone meal. The actual causitive agent is a very small protein-like substance called a prion. Unlike "regular" proteins, prion are not killed/changed by cooking or digestion.

    Unfortunately, there is also a very small percentage of mad cow (and other prion diseases in other species) that "pops up" out of no where. So by cutting out meat and bone meal fed to ruminants, the incidence should drop but I doubt if it will ever "go away" completely.

    I'm sorry my answer isn't more complete but it's been about 4 years since I studied this in school so my memory is getting a little foggy.

    Sarah
     

  3. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Oz, that's the theory but there are some other good ones floating around that I find interesting. Although I strongly disagree with feeding animal parts to animals, I find some flaws in the theory. It's only a good thought until you stop and wonder where the initial infected animal came from and you realize that animals will chew on bones of dead animals - which isn't an issue of you're a small producer, you can always make sure your deads are hauled away but large producers can graze cattle on thousands of acres and while they continually watch their own stock, they might not notice dead wildlife but since that's not where it comes from, according to one flawed study.
     
  4. Horace Baker

    Horace Baker Well-Known Member

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    The most up to date info on mad cow can be found here...Mark Purdey. Mark Purdey is a farmer/scientist in the UK who has been challenging the politically correct mad cow theories. His latest work seems to clearly implicate pour on insectisides (phosmet) as a root cause for mad cow.
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Oz:

    The feeding of meat and bone meal from sheep with scrappies to cattle causing BSE is only the leading theory. To my knowledge researchers have yet to give a cow BSE by doing so orally. They have taken brain tissue from infected animals and injected it into the brains of healthy animals and caused BSE - well, surprise, surprise.

    The feeding of rendered animal products to livestock has been a common practice pretty well worldwide for probably a couple of hundred years. Why then the sudden outbreak in the UK? Purdy has a good theory, but it is only that.

    As noted, there does seem to be spontaneous BSE. In humans it is CJD and occurs in about 1/1M deaths. I would expect something along those lines in most animal species.

    For the most part BSE seems much to do about very little. Somethink like 150 people have been documented with vCJD since it was found. 150 is probably less than the number of people murdered in a mid-sized U.S. city in a year.
     
  6. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    I agree that Mad Cow is a bit overblown(well unless you are one of the few to contract it) but it would seem IF it is spread by feeding brain/spinal matter to cows it should quickly be eliminated....

    Perhaps it is something else?