Group: Abuse of downer cattle continues
By Greg Toppo,
USA TODAY WASHINGTON — The group whose undercover slaughterhouse video last February prompted the largest beef recall in U.S. history alleged on Wednesday that cattle — some of them possibly bound for the National School Lunch Program — are still being abused, this time in livestock auctions. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), an animal rights group, said a new investigation shows dairy cattle being abused last May at a livestock auction in New Mexico. The group said an investigator watched three cows and calves "being mistreated and tormented in order to get them to stand and walk" into an auction ring in Portales, N.M. The group says state inspectors "were present at the auctions and apparently saw much of the abuse."
At HSUS's headquarters, Wayne Pacelle, the group's president, played for reporters a short video that showed, among other images, a stockyard worker kicking a cow, another cow struggling to pull itself forward by its front legs and another being dragged by a hind leg with a chain attached to a Bobcat-type tractor.
A meat industry trade association condemned the handling practices shown in the video, calling them "simply inexplicable."
It was not immediately clear whether the cows in the video were sold at auction or were even the same cows referred to in the investigation.
"We had hoped that this problem would have been taken care of by the regulatory agencies and the private livestock industry," Pacelle said. He added that there's no evidence that the downer cows were slaughtered or, if so, whether the meat found its way into the school lunch program, a major buyer of ground beef.
SCHOOL LUNCHES: Beef recall spotlights real cost of cheap cafeteria meals
"We just don't know" what happened to them, he said.
Pacelle noted that many cows sold at the Portales auction are processed at an Amarillo, Texas, plant that is a top supplier to the program.
American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle said the practices depicted in the video are "harmful to animals and to the industry's reputation. The fact that this occurred is simply inexplicable."
He said humane handling of animals "is both ethically appropriate and has real economic benefits in terms of safer workplaces and better meat quality," and noted that industry guidelines prohibit the dragging of non-ambulatory cattle.
If the animals showed up at a meat packing plant, the group said, "they would most certainly be condemned by federal inspectors as unfit for the food supply."
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who chairs the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, said the revelations of abuse at the auction "are extremely troublesome. Not only are we again witnessing the inhumane treatment of cows and the illegal slaughtering of downed cows for the food supply, but also the distribution of potentially contaminated meat into the school lunch program."
She said USDA should close a federal loophole that allows downer cattle to enter the food supply if, when they're first inspected, they are ambulatory.
On Feb. 17, the Hallmark/Westland Meatpacking Co., based in Chino, Calif., voluntarily recalled 143 million pounds of beef, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture found evidence that plant workers slaughtered "downer" cows — cows that were unable to walk — without a veterinarian inspecting them first.
Hallmark had stopped operations on Feb. 1, after HSUS released an undercover video shot last fall that showed plant workers using forklifts to roll cows that couldn't walk and poking them with electric prods, allegedly to move them to the slaughter box.
No illnesses were reported tied to the Hallmark beef, but downer cattle have been generally prohibited from the U.S. food supply since 2004 because they carry a higher risk of mad cow disease, a fatal brain illness, and E. coli and salmonella contamination.
Until the recall, Westmark was one of the nation's largest suppliers to the National School Lunch Program, supplying about 100 million pounds of beef total to federal food and nutrition programs over the last five years.
Last Friday, Daniel Navarro, a Hallmark slaughterhouse manager, pled guilty to two counts of felony animal cruelty and two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. A co-worker, Rafael Herrera, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in the case last March. He is serving 180 days in jail and is expected to be deported to his native Mexico.
Hallmark has drawn complaints about abusive treatment of animals since at least 1996, USA TODAY reported last March. The 12-year-old allegations of downer cattle being prodded are similar to the recent ones.
Contributing: Associated Press
>>>Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who chairs the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, said the revelations of abuse at the auction "are extremely troublesome. Not only are we again witnessing the inhumane treatment of cows and the illegal slaughtering of downed cows for the food supply, but also the distribution of potentially contaminated meat into the school lunch program."<<<
yea, but even more troublesome is Waxman et al will hold another 'do nothing' hearing. his committee on OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM and mad cow disease issues and human health is a joke. please see ; Wednesday, November 01, 2006 Weaknesses in FDA's Food Safety System Rep. Waxman releases a fact sheet explaining that the growing incidence of contamination in fresh produce is a symptom of weaknesses in the federal food safety system. Monday, June 26, 2006 Prescription for Harm: The Decline in FDA Enforcement Activity A new report by Rep. Henry A. Waxman examines how the Bush Administration has carried out FDA’s historic enforcement responsibilities. The report is the result of a 15-month investigation that included a review of thousands of pages of internal agency enforcement records. It finds that there has been a precipitous drop in FDA enforcement actions over the last five years. Friday, June 24, 2005 Rep. Waxman's Statement on the United States' Second Confirmed Case of Mad Cow Disease Rep. Waxman comments on the second case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the United States. Wednesday, January 05, 2005 New Evidence Raises Questions About Cattle Imports from Canada Rep. Waxman and Sen. Conrad ask Agriculture nominee Michael Johanns to reconsider the decision to allow cattle imports from Canada in light of new information that cattle feed in Canada may be contaminated with animal protein, risking the spread of “mad cow disease.” Tuesday, July 13, 2004 IG Audit Finds Multiple Flaws in Mad Cow Surveillance Plan Rep. Waxman raises questions about the effectiveness and credibility of USDA's response to mad cow disease, citing an audit by the USDA Inspector General that finds systemic deficiencies in the Department's surveillance plan and new evidence that USDA misled the public in the wake of the detection of an infected cow in Washington State. Thursday, May 13, 2004 Failure To Test Staggering Cow May Reflect Wider Problems Rep. Waxman raises concerns that the recent failure of USDA to test an impaired cow for BSE may not be an isolated incident, citing the failure of USDA to monitor whether cows condemned for central nervous system symptoms are actually tested for mad cow disease. Tuesday, February 17, 2004 Washington State "Mad Cow" Walked on Day of Slaughter Reps. Waxman and Tom Davis release eyewitness statements that the cow infected with BSE was not a “downer” cow, as has been claimed – calling into question USDA’s surveillance program for mad cow disease and the agency's credibility. Tuesday, January 29, 2008 Waxman and Kennedy Request GAO Examination of FDA Resource Shortfalls Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy wrote to Comptroller General of the United States David Walker requesting an examination of the staffing, information technology, and other resources necessary for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to successfully carry out its oversight of foods, drugs, biologics, and medical devices. COMMITTEE ON Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry A. Waxman, 110th Congress
Frankly speaking, these people suck at doing there job of 'oversight'. they may see things i.e. 'oversight', but they do nothing. they ought to just call it a 'tea party', invite some more movie stars, or ball players on roids, for autographs, and call it a day. ...TSS
Owens, Julie From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. [email@example.com] Sent: Monday, July 24, 2006 1:09 PM To: FSIS RegulationsComments Subject: [Docket No. FSIS-2006-0011] FSIS Harvard Risk Assessment of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Page 1 of 98 8/3/2006
I would kindly like to comment on the following ;
[Federal Register: July 12, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 133)] [Notices] [Page 39282-39283] From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr12jy06-35] -------------------------------------------------------- --------------- DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2006-0011] Harvard Risk Assessment of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Update; Notice of Availability and Technical Meeting
MY comments/questions are as follows ;
1. SINCE the first Harvard BSE Risk Assessment was so flawed and fraught with error after the PEER REVIEW assessment assessed this fact, how do you plan on stopping this from happening again, will there be another peer review with top TSE Scientist, an impartial jury so-to-speak, to assess this new and updated Harvard BSE/TSE risk assessment and will this assessment include the Atypical TSE and SRM issues ?
*** Suppressed peer review of Harvard study October 31, 2002 ***
2. WITH A RECENT NATION WIDE MAD COW FEED BAN RECALL in the past few months that consisted of some 10,878.06 TONS, then another Mad Cow feed ban warning letter in May, IT should seem prudent to ask why our feed bans continue to fail in 2006, and continue to fail today ?
full text 98 pages ;
[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
Page 1 of 17
From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2005 6:17 PM
Subject: [Docket No. 03-025IFA] FSIS Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk Materials for Human Food and Requirements for the Disposition of Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle
I would kindly like to submit the following to [Docket No. 03-025IFA] FSIS Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk Materials for Human Food and Requirements for the Disposition of Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle THE BSE/TSE SUB CLINICAL Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle Broken bones and such may be the first signs of a sub clinical BSE/TSE Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle ;
SUB CLINICAL PRION INFECTION
Issued: Monday, 28 August 2000
NEW EVIDENCE OF SUB-CLINICAL PRION INFECTION: IMPORTANT RESEARCH
FINDINGS RELEVANT TO CJD AND BSE
A team of researchers led by Professor John Collinge at the Medical
Research Council Prion Unit1 report today in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, on new evidence for the existence of a
"sub-clinical" form of BSE in mice which was unknown until now....
full text 17 pages ;
PLEASE NOTE IN REFERENCE TO THE LATEST LONG TERM USDA DOWNER COW SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM CASE STUDY FOR VCJD IN CHILDREN
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (Variant) and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Prion Diseases) Description Since 1996, strong evidence has accumulated for a causal relationship between ongoing outbreaks, primarily in Europe, of a disease in cattle called bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow disease”) and a disease in humans called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). Both disorders, which are caused by an unconventional transmissible agent, are invariably fatal brain diseases with incubation periods typically measured in years (1). Transmission of the BSE agent to humans, leading to vCJD, is believed to occur via ingestion of cattle products contaminated with the BSE agent; the specific foods associated with this transmission are unknown. However, a recently published case-control study involving 132 vCJD cases in the United Kingdom (UK) showed evidence of an increased risk for vCJD associated with the frequency of consuming beef products likely to contain mechanically recovered meat and head meat (such as burgers, meat pies, and sausages) (2). Bioassays and molecular tests have enabled identification of what World Health Organization consultants have classified as “high-infectivity” and “lower infectivity” tissues of cattle with BSE (3). The high-infectivity tissues include the brain, spinal cord, retina, optic nerve, and dorsal root and trigeminal ganglia, suggesting that these tissues can pose a relatively high risk of transmission. The lower infectivity tissues include peripheral nerves (e.g., sciatic and facial nerves), tonsils, nictitating membrane (third eye lid), distal ileum, bone marrow, and possibly thigh muscle. The latter tissue from one cow with BSE transmitted disease to highly BSE-sensitive transgenic mice at a rate indicative of trace levels of infectivity.
USDA CERTIFIED DEAD STOCK DOWNER COW SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM, the most HIGH RISK animal for BSE mad cow disease, and even more risky here in the USA, where the last two cases of mad cow disease was of the _atypical_ BSE, in Texas and Alabama. THE atypical BSE is more virulent to humans than the U.K. BSE strain. ...TSS
HISTORY OF DEAD STOCK DOWNER COW PROGRAM
NOW, how risky dead stock downer cattle?
let's look at an old (in the field) case study. now, this could never have happened, the USA does not have mad cow disease today, or back then ;-(TSS)...not!
Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy TME (MAD MINK DISEASE)
Over the next 8-10 weeks, approximately 40% of all the adult mink on the farm died from TME. Since previous incidences of TME were associated with common or shared feeding practices, we obtained a careful history of feed ingredients used over the past 12-18 months. The rancher was a "dead stock" feeder using mostly (>95%) downer or dead dairy cattle and a few horses. Sheep had never been fed.
Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy TME (MAD MINK DISEASE)
40% DIED OVER 8-10 WEEKS TIME !
O.K., just because your children have all been exposed, and evidently continue to be exposed, could potentially die a horrific death from CJD in the years and or decades to come, could expose who knows how many more people via friendly fire i.e. iCJD in the years and or decades to come, should this be cause for alarm ?
NOW, ask yourself WHY THE HONORABLE PEOPLE OF KOREA DO NOT WANT USDA CERTIFIED BEEF ?
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Beef Imports to Korea: An Open Letter to President Bush Korean middle school student Chae-song Kim asks that the trade agreement be reconsidered
Please remember, the last two mad cows documented in the USA i.e. Alabama and Texas, both were of the 'atypical' BSE strain, and immediately after that, the USDA shut down the testing from 470,000 to 40,000 in the U.S. in 2007 out of about 35 million cattle slaughtered. also, science is showing that some of these atypical cases are more virulent to humans than the typical UK BSE strain ;
***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 @ ;
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.
IF BSE is not in the USA (just not documented for many different reasons), and only atypical BSE is in the USA (plus CWD, plus, many strains of Scrapie, and Now the Nor-98 documented in 5 different states, plus TME, then why would human mad cow in the USA look like the UK nvCJD from UK BSE cows ? it was shown long ago in studies at Mission Texas that experimental transmission of USA Scrapie to USA Bovine, DID NOT LOOK LIKE UK BSE. so again, in short, why would human mad cow in the USA look like human mad cow in the UK i.e. the (nvCJD). however, I believe that BSE has been in the USA untested and undocumented for years. why on earth then does the USDA refuse to allow creekstone or anyone else test their product? simple, if you don't look/test, you don't find.
please see full text ;
SEE STEADY INCREASE IN SPORADIC CJD IN THE USA FROM 1997 TO 2006. SPORADIC CJD CASES TRIPLED, with phenotype of 'UNKNOWN' strain growing. ...
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.
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.
Diagnosis and Reporting of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
Singeltary, Sr et al. JAMA.2001; 285: 733-734.
BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL
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.
doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(03)00715-1 Copyright © 2003 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Newsdesk
Tracking spongiform encephalopathies in North America
Available online 29 July 2003.
Volume 3, Issue 8, August 2003, Page 463
“My name is Terry S Singeltary Sr, and I live in Bacliff, Texas. I lost my mom to hvCJD (Heidenhain variant CJD) and have been searching for answers ever since. What I have found is that we have not been told the truth. CWD in deer and elk is a small portion of a much bigger problem.”
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
FDA BSE/Ruminant Feed Inspections Firms Inventory Report Texas Legend Ranch OAI 05/10/2008
A novel human disease with abnormal prion protein sensitive to protease (prionopathy) JUNE 2008
HUMAN and ANIMAL TSE Classifications i.e. mad cow disease and the UKBSEnvCJD only theory JUNE 2008
Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. Box 42 Bacliff, Texas USA 77518