Thursday, April 24, 2008

Downer Cattle

Meat and Dairy Groups Now Back Downer-Cattle Ban
Published: April 23, 2008

In a significant reversal, major meat and dairy industry groups backed a total ban on so-called downer cattle from entering the food supply. Calls for such a ban have come from watchdog groups and some lawmakers in the wake of the large beef recall from a Southern California slaughterhouse in February, but the industry had resisted. Current law bans slaughter of most cows that are unable to stand, or downers, but allows them in if they fall after passing a veterinarian’s inspection and then are reinspected. Advocacy groups called that a loophole, but the Agriculture Department and the meat industry opposed changing it. Now, under pressure from Congress and outside groups, the industry has reconsidered. The American Meat Institute, the National Meat Association and the National Milk Producers Federation said they had petitioned the Agriculture Department to enact a total ban. “We think that the time has come,” said Jeremy Russell, spokesman for the National Meat Association, which represents some 400 packers and processors. “We want to send a clear message to consumers that we’re putting their welfare and concerns ahead of the economics.” Link

Anytime there is something like the massive beef recall that happens, you hope that there is a silver lining for the industry hidden somewhere in the mess. There was no excuse for the way those animals were treated. Hopefully this will eliminate the possibility of this happening again.

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