Downer cows = Mad Cow disease?

February 11th, 2008


The US has cut testing for Mad Cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalothopy:

U.S. to reduce mad cow testing by 90 percent

So when I saw the reports recently that Minnesota told schools not to serve beef produced at a plant where they’d mistreated animals, my red flags went up, because since when is humane treatment of animals something businesses and state agencies care about? Then I heard that the issue was that they were mistreating “downer cows” and dragging and forklifting them into the plant. And that’s something completely different, downer cows = mad cow disease in some cases, it’s a symptom. Were these animals tested? Or were they just run through the line and shipped on out to MINNESOTA SCHOOLS? WTF? And the silence about the relationship of mad cow to downer cows at the slaughterhouse is deafening.

Here’s how it was framed in the STrib – note “mad cow” and “testing” is not mentioned:

Minnesota orders schools not to use beef from California plant

Minnesota school districts told to stop using meat from California company embroiled in sick-cow controversy.

Last update: January 30, 2008 – 11:27 PM

The Minnesota Department of Education said Wednesday that it has ordered state school districts to stop using beef from a California company accused of abusing sick animals it later processed for human consumption.

Westland Hallmark Meat Co. delivered ground beef to schools in 36 states via a U.S. Department of Agriculture program between Oct. 26 and Nov. 5, 2007, the agency said.

The Humane Society of America released a video on Wednesday that shows workers at the Chino, Calif., plant kicking, shocking and prodding sick cows into a slaughterhouse.

The USDA has suspended the company from federal food and nutrition programs.


And today I was checking up on things back at home, and found this, that it was sent to schools near Red Wing:

Suspect beef may have been sent here

Mike Longaecker The Republican Eagle
Published Friday, February 08, 2008

Beef from cattle shown on video being dragged by forklifts and other methods described as inhumane was likely shipped to several area schools, officials announced Thursday.

Cannon Falls, Goodhue, Kenyon-Wanamingo, Pine Island and Zumbrota school districts all likely received the beef from Westland Hallmark Meat Co., according to the Minnesota Department of Education. A total of 375 Minnesota schools and districts were on the list.

According to a department news release, no instances of illness were reported in connection to the beef and there is no other evidence the beef represents an increased health risk.

Meat from the plant has been placed on hold by the federal government since Jan. 30, the same day the U.S. Department of Agriculture indefinitely suspended Westland’s meat products from the National School Lunch Program.

Westland halted operations Feb. 1 after allegations surfaced that cattle at its California facilities were being sent to slaughter under inhumane conditions.

Undercover video released by the Humane Society of the United States shows “downer” cows — those unable to walk — being skidded and dragged through a processing plant.

Cannon Falls and Kenyon-Wanamingo were among 120 Minnesota districts identified by the state that had unused meat as of Thursday. Those districts have been contacted by the state and instructed how to isolate the product.

About 15,500 pounds of Westland beef sent to Minnesota was sent as processed meat products, including beef crumbles and hamburger patties, according to the state.

Most of the Westland beef sent to Minnesota was likely served to students before the USDA issued its advisory warning earlier this week.

Based on state research, one-third of the 240,000 pounds of Westland’s raw beef that has not been used is isolated.

The USDA will determine what should be done with the meat that hasn’t been used.

You can see the video here on the Humane Society’s site, where you’ll note that they DO point out the correlation between Mad Cow and downer cows, that 12 of the 15 known cases of mad cow were downer cows:

Humane Society Video of Downer Cows

I mean really, Mad Cow Disease, Pissy Deer Disease (Chronic Wasting), Sheep Scrapie, Creutzfeld-Jakob variant… Come on, folks, wake up and smell the cow shit!

Here’s what the World Health Organization has to say about Creutzfeldt-Jakob variant:

WHO Cretuzfeldt-Jakob page

Think it doesn’t happen here? Check these Chronic Wasting maps from Wisconsin:


Farmed Deer with CWD – info HERE!

Maybe when big ag is held accountable, LIABLE, for humans with Creutzfeldt-Jakob variant, maybe then things will change…

In the meantime, demand rigorous testing. MEAT – it’s NOT what’s for dinner…

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