mad cow

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by myersfarm, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

    Messages:
    2,004
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    missouri
    wondering why when we found a case of mad cow in usa we traced down all relatives of the cow..and also kill like 500 baby bull calfs because we didn't know which calf was hers......now canada has found a cow that doesn't fit into there mix...a cow that was born after the ban and they say must been feed old feed...how many big dairy farmers have feed that is a year old or older...when i worked on a dairy the feed truck came twice a week...wonder how many calf and grandcalf running around out of the 3 mad cows they have. had ...just wondering...........my wondering was does any one think that bse could come from the genetics of the cow or the bull instead of the feed. my understanding of closed herd means they do not buy cows but they do buy bulls or semen most dairy cows are most time AI..also you never here of canada finding and killing baby calfs or the relatives of there mad cows does anyone get my drift could be the gene pool instead of feed
     
  2. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Messages:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    What shocks me is the fact they still will open the border when it is obvious there is a problem up in Canada. It is also interesting that some big farms out west are sueing to keep the border closed, and good for them! One thing is for sure, atleast all of the feed we feed to our cows, is animal biproduct free. It is super clean feed, bagged by the owner, etc. Regardless of beef prices, and other things. The fact Canada obviously has cracked down as hard as they should have, and the fact cattle will be flowing in come March, why the borders will still open is beyond me! A word of advice, start buying from farms that have had their herds for a long time, and don't introduce animals out of their herd, or atleast get animals from local farms that have had their animals for many many years. I am glad im getting these animals im buying LOCALLY, from farms that have had their animals for many many many years, and dont buy out of their herd (one farm has soooo many she has to sell).



    Jeff


    BTW: One of the farms has had their same genetics for 100 years..
     

  3. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

    Messages:
    2,004
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    missouri
    just wonderingwere do they get there new bulls from???
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    There are plenty of closed herds that don't need imported genetics. While I agree the border should be closed again (and I'm a Canadian losing money on this ban although why lamb is banned is beyond me!) there's simply no way its going to happen. Your Prez woke up one morning and realized he needs a Canadian agreement on his missile defence shield and he's made a four year habit of PO-ing the Canadian government. Besides rumor has it your American slaughter houses have yards full of Canadian beef waiting to be imported. I'd rather see us sell to new markets processing the animals through Canadian kill lines employing Canadians. I'm just surprised that oil rich half crazed Albertan demigod of a premier hasn't built the facilities himself! Such is life I'll wager once the cow is imported live to the USA and eats a mouthful of US hay it becomes American beef anyhow. I'm a huge buy local fan regardless of bans.
     
  5. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    You need to get your facts straight. When the US found that cow, it was impossible to track. She was brought in with about 80 head. They never found most of those herdmates. Those would be the most likely to have shared her infection as they came from the same place (maybe, who knows as they couldn't find them). They killed a bunch of calves, but at least they could track where her calf had gone. It looks good on TV too...like they actually have a handle on it.

    Canada is much further along the cattle ID trail than we are. So far, the mad cows have been older animals that were born before the ID system was in place so tracking has been difficult, but younger animals all have a unique ID for easy tracking.

    This is precisely why we need an ID system here. I'd much rather have my herd destroyed because there was a problem, rather than destroyed because they simply couldn't tell where the problem was.

    Canada also stepped up testing. Of course they are going to find more and so would we if the USDA wasn't so afraid of finding one to actually test enough to be adequate.

    Don't fool yourself...BSE is here in the US, they just haven't found it yet. A closed herd doesn't mean a thing in regards to BSE, it's all about what they were fed, where it was mixed, etc. I grind all my own feed because I do not want any kind of risk at all. I don't trust that commercial feeds cannot be cross-contaminated...I know mine can't.

    We have traded so many cattle with Canada that we are essentially one cattle country. They got the bad luck of finding the first cow, then increasing testing, which results in more found cows. Just as soon as they find our first one, the same will happen to us.

    Jena
     
  6. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,165
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Jena
    As usual you hit the nail on the head!!! The facts seem to escape to many people when they post. The under 30 month cattle are coming in now as boxed beef so the live cattle will not change anything bse wise. Our lack of tracibility is the reason we can't reopen trade with asia and it is a shame that the american beef industry continues to fight it. If we tested ALL cattle over 30 months instead of suspect culls I am sure we would find a few homegrown cases of bse.
    mr Wanda
    Mike
     
  7. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Messages:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York

    Good points, however you state it yourself, it hasn't been found yet. Yet in canada, it has been found several times over. It is interesting that they found a cow, and we have yet to find one, unless we have and it has been hush hush. Our government does cover things up, and they will cover this up to protect the beef industry, instead quietly dispose of the animals, etc. They know the "panic" americans could have, etc, and its why the government does not tell us everything.

    But one thing great about the grains I get is ground by the person that sells them, he does not bring in any other grain. He has used other peoples soybeans, however they are also from this area, not from other locations.

    Your point about the feed introduceing something into the herd is a good point, however it does depend as you said where it comes from. The feed sold locally here is processed locally. I am not sure where they get the grain itself, but they bag their own, etc etc.


    Myerfarm,


    They don't use a bull, they AI.



    Jeff
     
  8. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    I haven't seen a lot of reporting on this, but speculation I saw was not all of the possibly contaminated feed had worked it way out of the system. Also I have not seen any link to possibly cross contamination due to using the same needle to give vaccinations. Typically with cattle you wouldn't draw a bit of blood into it (as some IV drug users do), but there might still be a speck of blood on the needle itself. This could keep it within a head, yet not be link to genetics. I have not heard of a single case of BSE being passed from cow to calf.

    IMHO, the impact of MCD is overinflated. Remember in Britian almost the entire population was exposed to possibly comtaminated beef, yet less than 150 have died of vCJD. It has been calculated the exposure risk is on the order of one in several billion servings. I still hold to my theory you had to be susceptible to CJD later in life and exposure to BSE just triggered it early. (I believe CJD is the cause in something one in one million deaths.)

    In the U.S. feed with animal protein (including no doubt sheep who died of scrapies) was fed for many, many years. Yet no case of BSE within the U.S. has shown up (been documented). I do suspect, like others, there may have been cases in the past, which was considered to be staggers or something else.

    But, as the saying goes, if you remain calm while others panic you clearly don't understand the situation.
     
  9. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,120
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    East-Central Ontario
    As usual there aren't a lot of facts coming from the American side on this. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency have traced and killed thousands of animals in and descended from the herds where it has been found in Canada, and none of those animals have tested positive. So far all of the animals found in Canada have either been tagged so they could be traced or in one dairy case registered and they had records of her calves before traceback was implemented. The first and last cases were both beef cows so in the last case it wouldn't be unusual for a cow-calf farm to hold leftover feed from one calf crop to the next. The Americans have no idea where the herdmates of the WA cow went, and also the American positive was the only one so far that was FED TO HUMANS.
    Also the Canadian government is testing old, sick, downer and dead cows to find BSE. A large number of the tests the US is doing are on young cattle who can't be positive anyway, while older and sick cows are often going untested.
    ALSO R-Calf and others are making much of the animal matter found in feed by Canadian authorities which may or may not show the feed ban was violated, but they fail to mention that half of those positive samples came from imported feed. Not a lot of prepared feed being imported into Canada from anywhere other than the US, so if the feed ban is being violated in Canada it's being violated in the US too.
     
  10. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    The grains are not a problem, it's other stuff that might go through the machinery or be at the grinding facility. An example....I can safely feed my chickens meat & bone meal. If I did, that meat & bone meal would go through my grinder. If I were also grinding cattle feed with the same grinder, I could cross contaminate my cattle feed. That's why I feed my chickens a non-animal-protein feed.

    If your feed mill does not grind anything containing animal proteins, you are fine. Granted the risks of the cross contamination are small, but I don't want to take the chance.

    Jena
     
  11. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    They have infected healthy sheep through blood transfusions in a lab, but the transmission of BSE via blood is a "theoretical risk". They also say that maternal transmission is not impossible, but highly unlikely.

    I personally think that BSE occurs naturally just like CJD does in humans (and similar diseases in other species). The rate of 1/1,000,000 is typical. I think as the naturally occuring cases went into the animal food chain, it just amplified the naturally occuring cases. It produced a domino effect.

    It's interesting to learn that a disease in cats was noticed in Britain before they noticed the disease in humans. It would make sense as more high risk tissues would go to pet food, but as the level of infected animals increased, so did the levels in the food supply.

    I also think that people can get sick from eating any animal with this type of disease. If you look up Chronic Wasting Disease and other similar diseases, you will find cases of people (or other animals) becoming sick after eating these types of animals. Of course the government can't prove that's the case, so they won't say that's the cause.

    Jena
     
  12. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    I totally agree. The US is making much of the Canada thing, while strategically working to delay the inevitable...finding a home-grown infected cow.

    I'm disgusted enough with those who are fighting the animal ID that I have quit listening to them. I don't see what the big deal is. It's not any harder to tag a calf with an ID tag than it is to tag it with my own numbered tags. It's not any harder to keep records...what serious cattle farmer doesn't keep records of who had who? Animal ID is a good thing that will protect farmers from useless herd destruction, unless you happen to be the one who has an infected animal, then tough luck...the eating public get the protection in that case as they should.

    Jena
     
  13. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    16,485
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Perhaps since I'm right in the heart of this mess, I can clear up some misinformation and speculation. When the first cow tested posative, there was a huge decimation of cattle, 3,000+ cows and their calves. They tested cattle that had common feeding programs, had been on community lease pastures within her lifetime and all calves from those cows were killed. The farm in Saskatchewan that raised that particular beef cow was totally closed and they were operating with 3 separate closed herds and they were rotating their bulls throughout those herds but they did NOT use AI nor did they bring in outside feed, they also grew their own feed including: hay, barley and straw for bedding. Another fact, not speculation or fallacy, each cow related to the dairy cow found in Washington was also depopulated and tested and ALL tested negative. Yes, large farms go through feed quickly and shouldn't have 'old feed' laying around but what about mills and feed stores, they buy in volume and it might be that they didn't obey the new regulations and destroy old feed. I don't know if that's what happened or if that's even found to be the defined cause because that would tell us that BSE or Scrapie existed previously. The other old cow predates the feed ban and she's a pet, lord knows what she's been fed because hobby farmers don't always know and understand the laws. This younger cow is only slightly younger than the feed ban but she's the one that concerns me. I know the area she came from very well. The one common feed that each and every owner has cited as being an object for concern is Nutralix (protein blocks), made in Mexico and shipped via the US to Canada. Do I think that's the cause of the problem? I don't know, it's just as plausable as any other theory. Another little known fact in this mess is that in Alberta we have two very large processing plants and both of them are foreign owned and operated. Their profits have increased obscenely over the last 19 months while ranchers are losing their businesses and homes. A huge part of this mess is being fuelled by the media, if the US media wants fear, they generate fear by simply neglecting to mention just how many animals have been killed and tested. While the media generates fear and panic, they also fail to mention to the buying public that BSE has been found in Japanese cattle under 30 months.

    Ross, I'm quite shocked and your contempt :eek: I've never heard you speak unkindly or in a mean way about any other province and I really did think that you were above such things. I also thought that Scrapie was a disease associated with sheep and the common thought was that this disease originated with sheep parts being fed to cattle? I personally find that as speculative as anything else but it's rumor and fear that's feeding this crap.
     
  14. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    16,485
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Sorry my comment was so long but I'd also like to add to the information on our testing of downers. Right now, the province of Alberta has a program in place that literally buys any bovine that's in poor condition for well above current market value and it takes absolutely no effort, you pick up the phone, call a toll free line and tell them you have an unthrifty animal, a health of animals vet is dispatched, the animal is put down and a field test is performed. No butcher can take an animal without a herd of origin tag and they won't because the fines are too costly and each animal that passes through a butcher shop is tested. Kill days are specific for each shop and it is supervised by a vet and government inspector.
     
  15. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    "I personally think that BSE occurs naturally just like CJD does in humans (and similar diseases in other species). The rate of 1/1,000,000 is typical. I think as the naturally occuring cases went into the animal food chain, it just amplified the naturally occuring cases. It produced a domino effect."

    Jena:

    This is pretty well my thinking as well. With CWD, I have a strong suspicion is comes from the deer/elk eating discarded antlers (for the calcium) and possible chewing on bones for the same reason.

    Remember the one case in France from a closed herd on a farm which imported no feed?

    I would not expect the rate of 1/1M to be consistent across species, but I do think it is a pretty good working figure.

    BSE may have just triggered CJD earlier than it would have normally have happened. However, if that was the case, it would be too early to tell if there is a future short-term dip in the regular rate of CJD (as if a susceptible group died early).

    Ken Scharabok
     
  16. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    16,485
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    It's funny you mention that Ken, I've read and respected your theory as this has unfolded and it's something that my vet mentioned at the time of the first find, he suggested that perhaps it had jumped species. It has been suggested that BSE could relate to a copper issue.

    Jeff, I don't think you understand what we're talking about when we're talking about feed. It has absolutely nothing to do with grain at all. The feed you hear about is a mixed complete feed customized to meet the needs of general situations, it's used more by the small producers, hobby farmers and folks that are too lazy to do their own calculations. It's a mix of barley, oats, vitamins and minerals. If I were to purchase it, mine would have a higher barley mix because of our extreme cold, additional protien, again because of the cold and minerals and vitamins that would apply to deficiencies in my region, one being selenium. It's not cost effective for the average producer because it's expensive. Most of us have bins and we purchase our grain locally and we add no extras except our supplement blocks. This last cow is younger than the feed laws but not by much. Perhaps somebody had one of those fancy tote bags of processed feed left over or perhaps a mill wasn't totally sanitized.

    One of the reason we're finding these cattle is because we are testing more, we have a program that buys our unwell cattle and tests them. Our testing program is so comprehensive that I sent a rather large steer to be butchered and although he was under 30 months, the vet and inspector at the abatoire had him tested anyhow, simply because he 'looked older' than the rest of the steers we sent in for butchering. The really sad thing is that this whole mess is being fuelled by the media, I'll bet that very few people in the US know that the initial investigation was not lead by a team of our own vets, it was a joint effort with vets from the US, Japan and EU. I wonder if your media has even allowed the average US consumer to know that a team of US vets and inspectors are up here again, at the invitation of the Alberta and Canadian government to participate in the investigation. We have nothing to hide and we don't want to hide anything, we'd like answers and resolutions. While everybody bickers about theory, real families are losing their livelihood. Another little inside secret, a couple of the main forces in R-CALF have cattle sitting in Canada, last tally indicates that they have jointly invested well over $1 million and another couple have a vested interest in our (Alberta) processing plants which have seen huge profits and benefited from from financial aid packages doled out by the government. Could they possibly have an agenda?
     
  17. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

    Messages:
    2,004
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    missouri
    wr thanks for the clear up you answered alot of my questions....thanks again
     
  18. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    16,485
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I'm now able to offer information on this current case as per a press conference with the rancher who has had the cow all her life. She is a purebred registered cow belonging to a rancher that has raised the breed for over 20 years. She did not display any symptoms, she was down because of an injury and because of her injury, the rancher decided to call out the vet at which time it was decided that with our extreme temperatures at the moment, it would be best to put her down and because she was technically down, she was turned in for the unwell cow program to be tested and the rest is history. The rancher has had her since she was young, as was case with the initial cow and they are looking at a supplement fed to her and other calves as weanlings. With our tag tracing program as well as the fact that she and the other calves were all registered, it will be incredibly easy to trace the rest of the calves she was fed with and all will be tested as well as her offspring. Both Canadian and US investigators have cited great record keeping as being a great aid to their investigation. The initial cow (black angus) had come to the poor man who last owned her through a cattle broker and she'd made quite a few miles before her final stop. Sadly, the poor man that last owned the first cow was an American who'd recently moved to Alberta and I sure didn't think he was treated well, including the hate mail and death threats made from people throughout north america. That's all I know as of tonight and should I have any further information, I'd be happy to pass it on.

    I would like to point out that if this matter is found to be a feed related issue, it is not and has never been farm site related, we purchase our products in good faith with the best interests of our livestock in mind and it would be the result of unscrupulous people or corporations. No self respecting breeder would ever knowingly taint their product or cause this kind of grief and disaster.
     
  19. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    194
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    washington/british columbia
    WR , super post, very informative.

    BSE is a "variant" of CJD , it is a Prion Protein from a group of Prion Proteins also known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE)
    Which include Fatal Insomnia, CJD, & GSSS.
    Prion proteins are found in all mammals, and can lie dormant for many years, they are found in large numbers in the brain, living on the surfaces of cell membranes.
    Abnormal Prion proteins change their shape, and also change healthy Prion proteins when they collide with them, causing them to change into disease causing shapes.
    They can survive being boiled, frozen, soaked in formaldehyde, carbolic acid, and even chloroform.
    Versions can infect Cattle, Humans, Sheep, Deer, Mink and many other animals.
    It is a correct theory that CJD is triggered by BSE, the how and when is really the only question.
    And spontanious random infection is indeed natural, not all BSE infected animals have anything to do with type of feed at all.
    And it is fact that the processing plants are stuffing their pockets at everyone elses expense, and promoting the news releases.
    Anyone notice the cattle prices in Canada are at the bottom, but the store price hasn't changed ? Gee who got that huge difference ?
    The Packers above anyone else will push the Media to blow everything out of proportion as the media do so well with everything.
    Anyone who is comforted by the thought that US cattle haven't been found with BSE clearly have their head in the sand, Canada has less than ten percent of the cattle population the US has, the idea that none have shown up clearly shows that the lack of an identification program, and judicial use of the Shoot, Shovel, & Shut-up practice has done a good job of keeping them well hidden.
    The sad fact is, the US does have BSE infected cattle, and they are being covered up in protection of the almighty dollar.
    Another sad fact is this will rear its ugly head in the US and Canada and Mexico, as these cattle do flow freely back and forth across the borders, with or without their owners knowing it, every year cattle break fences and disappear across the country borders, thats a fact.
    The sooner the US acknowledges that an identification program is necessary, and the lobbyists put peoples welfare ahead of profit, the better off all three countries will be.
    My two cents worth.
     
  20. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    16,485
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Thanks to all of you that have been so supportive, it's great to know we have friends and allies, the media fuels things up here too and would like to have us believe that you all have a serious amount of anger directed at us. You really do need a good identification program. If you have any doubts at all, you need to look into the chaos and confusion that of that first investigation. Our brand inspectors speak of literally crawling through thousands of hides sent out to tanneries to verify brands, countless hours were wasted while searching livestock manifests that are only as accurate as the disinterested driver hauling a load of cattle and searching the memories of people that made handshake deals and trades of cattle for goods and all of them were trying to remember or locate the history of a 'black angus type cow.' Literally thousands of head of cattle died needlessly because there was no way to disprove association with the cow. If anyone looks up the one study that suggests that BSE comes from animal to animal feed and vCJD, they will quickly find that the study was not as conclusive as related to the public and it's so inconclusive that when the media fans the fear of the consumer, they are always very careful to say that it's THOUGHT to be the cause. I strongly suspect that it will turn up in the US sooner or later because our feeding practices are and have been the very same with the feed regulations being incorporated at exactly the same time but I pray it doesn't cause I wouldn't wish this sort of disaster on anyone. Herefordman, the profits of the processing plants are public record, you are not overstating their rewards in all of this.