Release No. 0121.08 Contact: USDA Office of Communications (202)720-4623
Statement by USDA Secretary Ed Schafer on HSUS Animal Cruelty Video
WASHINGTON, D.C. May 7, 2008 "Late last week, the Humane Society of the United States notified me that they were in the early stages of an investigation into the mistreatment of farm animals transported to livestock auctions and stockyards. The dairy cattle shown in the video were non-ambulatory and were abandoned in parking lots of these auctions and yards. These animals were not in slaughter facilities. However, even though this is not a food safety issue, these actions of animal cruelty are not acceptable.
"USDA's authority to regulate the treatment of animals includes the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and the Animal Welfare Act. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act protects animals when they are presented for slaughter at federally inspected establishments. The Animal Welfare Act allows us to ensure the proper care of live animals when used in biomedical research, testing, and exhibition. When animals fall within our authorities, USDA has acted to prevent animal cruelty such as this.
Policies for humane handling of animals, however, consist of a combined effort of federal, state, and local authorities, as well as private industry. Since learning about this investigation, we are reaching out to states and industry groups to address this issue.
"In my conversation with the Humane Society last week, I expressed my sincere desire to work with them to resolve these atrocities, and I trust USDA was given all the information HSUS has on this issue so we can thoroughly address it. It is essential that we work together in good faith to address these issues, and ensure that animals are treated with care and dignity."
# USDA News email@example.com 202 720-4623
May 7, 2008, 2:44PM
Humane Society releases new video of mistreated livestock
By NATASHA T. METZLER Associated Press Writer © 2008 The Associated Press
TOOLS Email Get section feed Print Recommend Comments Yahoo! Buzz WASHINGTON — The Humane Society of the United States released video footage Wednesday of sick and injured livestock the group says were mistreated at auction sites and stockyards where cattle are sold for slaughter.
The group released videos shot during April and May showing downed cows abandoned for hours at facilities in Maryland, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Texas. The video was posted on the group's Web site.
"We found downed cows in a state of ill health, with no relief provided to the animals," said Wayne Pacelle, the organization's president and chief executive.
Downed cattle may pose a higher risk of contamination from E. coli, salmonella or mad cow disease because they typically wallow in feces and their immune systems are often weak.
Pacelle said there is no indication the downed cows his group filmed entered the food supply. But he added that the videos point out that auction sites fall between regulatory cracks, raising concern that a downed cow could potentially leave a facility and enter the food supply.
"Every place that we looked, we found downed animals," he said. "No one is watching. No one is taking responsibility for these animals."
The footage shows two downed cows at a site in Hereford, Texas; a downed cow that was left overnight outside an auction facility's barn in Westminster, Md.; two downed cows in at a site Clovis, N.M.; and a downed calf in Greencastle, Pa. In the Maryland case, investigators called the local Humane Society the next morning to euthanize the cow that spent the night behind the barn.
Pacelle said his organization had received a complaint about the Texas facility and had long-standing concerns about the Pennsylvania site. He said the New Mexico facility was chosen because it was close to Hereford and the Maryland auction because it was close to Washington.
"We intend to work immediately with the businesses where the improper handling reportedly occurred," Jim Santomaso, president of industry trade group the Livestock Marketing Association, said in a statement. "LMA shares everyone's interest in promoting the proper care and handling of all livestock, at all stages of their life."
A graphic videotape made inside a California slaughterhouse released by the same group in January led to the nation's largest beef recall.
The United States Department of Agriculture did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
On the Net: http://video.hsus.org/
IF you think that the USDA et al ordered the largest beef recall in history (some 143 million pounds), just over a couple abused animals, and that it was not a public health issue, i am hear to tell you, that is incorrect.
USDA DEAD STOCK DOWNER COW SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM i.e. non-ambulatory, the most high risk cow for BSE typical or atypical TSE (last two cows that were documented in the USA i.e. Texas and Alabama both were of the atypical BSE. please note ;
"Atypical forms of BSE have emerged which, although rare, appear to be more virulent than the classical BSE that causes vCJD."
Progress Report from the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center An Update from Stephen M. Sergay, MB, BCh & Pierluigi Gambetti, MD April 3, 2008
please see full text with additional comments and links @ ;
Sunday, March 16, 2008
MAD COW DISEASE terminology UK c-BSE (typical), atypical BSE H or L, and or Italian L-BASE
IS THERE A SCRAPIE-LIKE DISEASE IN CATTLE ?
In April of 1985, a mink rancher in Wisconsin reported a debilitating neurologic disease in his herd which we diagnosed as TME by histopathologic findings confirmed by experimental transmission to mink and squirrel monkeys. The rancher was a ''dead stock'' feeder using mostly (>95%) downer or dead dairy cattle and a few horses. She had never been fed.
We believe that these findings may indicate the presence of a previously unrecognized scrapie-like disease in cattle and wish to alert dairy practitioners to this possibility.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE SEVENTH ANNUAL WESTERN CONFERENCE FOR FOOD ANIMAL VETERINARY MEDICINE, University of Arizona, March 17-19, 1986
USDA DEAD STOCK DOWNER COW SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
[Docket No. 03-025IFA] FSIS Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk Materials for Human Food and Requirement for the Disposition of Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle
03-025IFA 03-025IFA-2 Terry S. Singeltary
[Docket No. FSIS-2006-0011] FSIS Harvard Risk Assessment of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
second line of lies... i mean defense i.e. fda mad cow feed ban ;
Friday, April 25, 2008
Substances Prohibited From Use in Animal Food or Feed [Docket No. 2002N-0273] (Formerly Docket No. 02N-0273) RIN 0910-AF46
Thursday, May 1, 2008
DEAD STOCK DOWNER COW BAN i.e. non-ambulatory policy still not changed by USDA May 1, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
STATEMENT OF DR. RICHARD RAYMOND USDA UNDERSECRETARY FOR FOOD SAFETY Regarding the Safety of the U.S. Food Supply
May 4, 2008
“Good evening. I am Dr. Richard Raymond, Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss with you the safety of the U.S. beef supply. I want to be sure that you are aware that I will be discussing food safety issues only, and I am not here this evening to discuss negotiations. “The U.S. Government believes the current agreement well addresses the health and food safety concerns of Korean consumers. It provides for Korea's sovereign right to conduct an audit of our facilities and to work with USDA inspection authorities if any food safety concerns are identified. When the OIE gave the United States "controlled risk" status a year ago, it was after the world's BSE experts reviewed the preventative and food safety measures in the United States. “Since the requirements to export to Korea are consistent with science, U.S. requirements as well as those of the OIE require that if any food safety concern is found, it would be fully investigated and immediately corrected by USDA. “I want to assure all consumers – both domestic and abroad – that the U.S. beef supply is among the safest in the world. ...
please see full text with some additional information the good Dr. Raymond seems to have forgotten about ;
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Interference at the EPA - Science and Politics at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
please see full text ;
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Health group urges overhaul of US food safety system Calling the US food safety system antiquated and disjointed, a public health advocacy group today urged a major overhaul to make the system stronger, more coherent, and better attuned to today's major threats.
Thu Dec 6, 2007 11:38
FDA IN CRISIS MODE, AMERICAN LIVES AT RISK
FDA SCIENCE AND MISSION AT RISK
CJD USA RISING
*Acquired in UK ** Acquired in Saudi Arabia *** Includes 17 inconclusive and 9 pending (1 from 2006, 8 from 2007. **** Includes 17 non-vCJD type unknown (2 from 1996, 2 from 1997, 1 from 2001, 1 from 2003, 4 from 2004, 3 from 2005, 4 from 2006) and 36 type pending (2 from 2005, 8 from 2006, 26 from 2007).
-- Cases are listed based on the year of death when available. If the year of death is not available, the year of sample receipt is used.
-- Referrals: Cases with possible or probable prion disease from which brain tissue or blood in the case of familial disease were submitted.
-- Inconclusive: Cases in which the samples were not sufficient to make a diagnosis.
-- Non-vCJD type unknown are cases in which the tissue submitted was adequate to establish the presence but not the type; in all cases, vCJD could be excluded.
-- Communicated by: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
[In submitting these data, Terry S. Singeltary Sr. draws attention to the steady increase in the "type unknown" category, which, according to their definition, comprises cases in which vCJD could be excluded. The total of 26 cases for the current year (2007) is disturbing, possibly symptomatic of the circulation of novel agents. Characterization of these agents should be given a high priority. - Mod.CP]
There is a growing number of human CJD cases, and they were presented last week in San Francisco by Luigi Gambatti(?) from his CJD surveillance collection.
He estimates that it may be up to 14 or 15 persons which display selectively SPRPSC and practically no detected RPRPSC proteins.
JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY
MARCH 26, 2003
RE-Monitoring the occurrence of emerging forms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob
disease in the United States
Email Terry S. Singeltary:
I lost my mother to hvCJD (Heidenhain Variant CJD). I would like to comment on the CDC's attempts to monitor the occurrence of emerging forms of CJD. Asante, Collinge et al  have reported that BSE transmission to the 129-methionine genotype can lead to an alternate phenotype that is indistinguishable from type 2 PrPSc, the commonest sporadic CJD. However, CJD and all human TSEs are not reportable nationally. CJD and all human TSEs must be made reportable in every state and internationally. I hope that the CDC does not continue to expect us to still believe that the 85%+ of all CJD cases which are sporadic are all spontaneous, without route/source. We have many TSEs in the USA in both animal and man. CWD in deer/elk is spreading rapidly and CWD does transmit to mink, ferret, cattle, and squirrel monkey by intracerebral inoculation. With the known incubation periods in other TSEs, oral transmission studies of CWD may take much longer. Every victim/family of CJD/TSEs should be asked about route and source of this agent. To prolong this will only spread the agent and needlessly expose others. In light of the findings of Asante and Collinge et al, there should be drastic measures to safeguard the medical and surgical arena from sporadic CJDs and all human TSEs. I only ponder how many sporadic CJDs in the USA are type 2 PrPSc?
THE PATHOLOGICAL PROTEIN
Hardcover, 304 pages plus photos and illustrations. ISBN 0-387-95508-9
BY Philip Yam
CHAPTER 14 LAYING ODDS
Answering critics like Terry Singeltary, who feels that the U.S. under- counts CJD, Schonberger conceded that the current surveillance system has errors but stated that most of the errors will be confined to the older population.
The statistical incidence of CJD cases in the United States has been revised to reflect that there is one case per 9000 in adults age 55 and older. Eighty-five percent of the cases are sporadic, meaning there is no known cause at present.
In this context, a word is in order about the US testing program. After the discovery of the first (imported) cow in 2003, the magnitude of testing was much increased, reaching a level of >400,000 tests in 2005 (Figure 4). Neither of the 2 more recently indigenously infected older animals with nonspecific clinical features would have been detected without such testing, and neither would have been identified as atypical without confirmatory Western blots. Despite these facts, surveillance has now been decimated to 40,000 annual tests (USDA news release no. 0255.06, July 20, 2006) and invites the accusation that the United States will never know the true status of its involvement with BSE.
In short, a great deal of further work will need to be done before the phenotypic features and prevalence of atypical BSE are understood. More than a single strain may have been present from the beginning of the epidemic, but this possibility has been overlooked by virtue of the absence of widespread Western blot confirmatory testing of positive screening test results; or these new phenotypes may be found, at least in part, to result from infections at an older age by a typical BSE agent, rather than neonatal infections with new "strains" of BSE. Neither alternative has yet been investigated.
CDC DR. PAUL BROWN TSE EXPERT COMMENTS 2006
The U.S. Department of Agriculture was quick to assure the public earlier this week that the third case of mad cow disease did not pose a risk to them, but what federal officials have not acknowledged is that this latest case indicates the deadly disease has been circulating in U.S. herds for at least a decade.
The second case, which was detected last year in a Texas cow and which USDA officials were reluctant to verify, was approximately 12 years old.
These two cases (the latest was detected in an Alabama cow) present a picture of the disease having been here for 10 years or so, since it is thought that cows usually contract the disease from contaminated feed they consume as calves. The concern is that humans can contract a fatal, incurable, brain-wasting illness from consuming beef products contaminated with the mad cow pathogen.
"The fact the Texas cow showed up fairly clearly implied the existence of other undetected cases," Dr. Paul Brown, former medical director of the National Institutes of Health's Laboratory for Central Nervous System Studies and an expert on mad cow-like diseases, told United Press International. "The question was, 'How many?' and we still can't answer that."
Brown, who is preparing a scientific paper based on the latest two mad cow cases to estimate the maximum number of infected cows that occurred in the United States, said he has "absolutely no confidence in USDA tests before one year ago" because of the agency's reluctance to retest the Texas cow that initially tested positive.
USDA officials finally retested the cow and confirmed it was infected seven months later, but only at the insistence of the agency's inspector general.
"Everything they did on the Texas cow makes everything USDA did before 2005 suspect," Brown said. ...snip...end
CDC - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Variant Creutzfeldt ... Dr. Paul Brown is Senior Research Scientist in the Laboratory of Central Nervous System ... Address for correspondence: Paul Brown, Building 36, Room 4A-05, ...
PAUL BROWN COMMENT TO ME ON THIS ISSUE
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:10 AM
"Actually, Terry, I have been critical of the USDA handling of the mad cow issue for some years, and with Linda Detwiler and others sent lengthy detailed critiques and recommendations to both the USDA and the Canadian Food Agency."
Thursday, April 24, 2008
RE-FOIA OF DECLARATION OF EXTRAORDINARY EMERGENCY BECAUSE OF AN ATYPICAL T.S.E. OF FOREIGN ORIGIN IN THE UNITED STATES [Docket No. 00-072-1]
Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas USA 77518