DC, January 9, 2004 (ENS): The U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA) has announced plans to kill an
additional 129 Washington state dairy cows that were
quarantined after a cow from the same farm was found
to be infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy
(BSE) or mad cow disease.
Scientists believe some of the animals belonged to the
same Alberta, Canada, birth herd as the BSE positive
cow and "could have potentially been exposed to
the same feed source," USDA Chief Veterinarian
Ron DeHaven said during a telephone news conference
The remains of the cattle will be tested for BSE and
no products from the cows will enter the human or animal
food chains, he said.
USDA officials said Thursday that all 450 bull calves
of the quarantined herd have been slaughtered. The herd
included the offspring of the BSE positive cow, called
the index cow.
USDA officials said the herd was slaughtered according
to American Veterinary Medical Association humane guidelines
on Tuesday. The carcasses were secured by the federal
agency and disposed of by landfill on January 7, officials
None of the carcasses entered the human food supply
chain or were rendered.
Officials also announced they have located another
animal that came into the United States with the index
This animal is also part of the dairy herd located
in Mattawa, Washington, that is under a Washington State
Some 4,000 cattle in two herds remain in quarantine
because of the concerns about mad cow disease.
The agency has 12 of the 82 cattle listed on the Canadian
health certificate definitely accounted for and is continuing
to try and trace back the origin and fate of the remaining
The discovery of mad cow disease in the United States
on December 23, 2003 has had stark repercussions for
the $27 billion U.S. cattle industry. More than 30 countries,
including Mexico, Japan and South Korea, banned U.S.
beef imports following discovery of the BSE positive
USDA officials say they are working closely with many
of these nations to reassure them of the safety of U.S.
Mad cow disease spreads from one animal to another
by consumption of feed that has been contaminated by
protein - such as blood or meat meal - from an infected
Beef from infected cattle causes the human equivalent
of mad cow disease, known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob
disease, which is always fatal for humans.
Scientists do not believe the disease can be spread
directly from cow to cow.
The infected cow was born in April 1997, some four
months before the United States and Canada adopted a
feed ban that prohibits the feeding of protein from
cattle back to other cattle.