Mad Cow Disease and Stupidity?

Click here: 03/13: AOL News: US Bans EU Animal Imports

Over in Europe, mad Cow disease along with Hoof and Mouth is cause big problems. According to an article I just read, the USDA has just banned the import of beef and pork products from several European nations. McDonalds has ordered it’s beef suppliers to produce certification that their products meet the US feed rules and regulations or they will be dropped.

Now, I was doing a little thinking, though not too much because it might strain my brain. Mad Cow disease is spread by a form of protein, which means even virtually carbonizing the meat will not prevent the disease from being spread. Hoof and mouth, while caused by more conventional means, is a dickens to eliminate even in processing, which is why all affected animals are cremated.

Somewhere, some time ago, some enterprising person decided to do a couple of things, being greedy and probably faced with masses of gruesome waste. First, portions of manure from herbivores were dumped into feed preparations, especially with chickens. So, cows and chickens get to essentially, eat their own shit, mixed with other things.

Well, not too bad. It’s all vegetable material, but, you know, certain forms of bacteria resist the digestive affects of the stomachs and bowels and require very high temperatures to be completely wiped out.

Then, organic remains were processed into the feed, like bones, guts, organs, probably feathers, beaks and anything else not used by humans. This meat slurry gets mixed with the animal feed in small amounts. Now, proponents of this gruesome practice claim it is great for the animals, giving them high protein amounts, higher calcium levels than with just vegetable feeds, along with assorted vitamins and minerals, which cuts down on expensive and often not real tasty artificial additives.

This slurry, is cooked, mixed, baked, ground, flavored, dried, and packaged, then sold to farmers as feed. They might of might not further cut it with portions of oats, corn, gain or hay pellets.

Basically, we’re giving herbivores meat and shit to eat. They are eating themselves. Herbivores are not omnivores, like we are. Herbivores mean vegetables and, in the area of fowl, insects with little real meat. Cows are not meat eaters.

They are now.

I’ve never liked that concept, figuring problems might arise, and they did. First with fecal bacteria becoming a major problem in the meat, along with hormones, and later, antibiotics.

Now, mad cow and H & M disease don’t respond to the processing – so why in hell don’t they stop it until the diseases pass? Nooooooo! Not these guys. They take in dead animals, which are acceptable to be converted into feed, process them and sell the infected or potentially affected food to farmers, who then get the diseases again!

I read an article years ago, by the author of ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’, James Heriot, the famous English vet (I loved his works!), where he mentions an outbreak of hoof and mouth in his area caused by a shipment of improperly processed pork products, shipped in from France, that was used in feed and caused a terrible plague that took ages to stamp out and cost their government a fortune.

This happened shortly after WW2. It has happened frequently since then. All for the same reasons; animal flesh improperly processed being used for cattle and animal feed.

Doesn’t anyone learn? Doesn’t it dawn on these folks that maybe they should cut way, way down on animal flesh being used in feed, at least until the diseases go away?

As I read the articles, I happened to think that without imports of meat from some other nations, our beef and pork industry will gleefully increase the prices for us, even though we produce enough meat to feed a goodly chunk of the world.

Though, I cannot figure out why the feed makers don’t wise up!



Probably greed.


Try this link. Damn AOL links are hard to copy.


In Great Britain, sheep known to have died of scrapie were processed into cattle feed. Scrapie was known to be a prion (basically mutated protein) disease, and it was known that prions would not be destroyed by the processing. But they had these dead sheep, and it costs money to dispose of them, and there is money to be made selling cattle feed, and big companies of all stripes are known for putting profits ahead of human life, so…

I live in the UK and the farmers and government are greedy and stupid. Look, if there is an outbreak, bse, foot and mouth etc. ban all british meat for 5 years.

This will do so much damage that the government will toughen up standards to avoid it happening again.


I’d just like to point out that vegetarians have, for years, been criticizing the shortcuts taken by cattle farmers in regards to feed and sanitation, and people have called us nuts. Well, now we have a textbook example of what happens.

It is, honestly, a miracle that this has not happened in the United States, due to the larger scale of a lot of farming operations. I sincerely hope it never does.

I agree with the OP. I hope these practices are completely banned.

I agree that feeding animal remains to farm animals is wrong, but I thought that the practice wasn’t technically legal in the United States after new rules were implemented to combat BSE. I think that I remember reading in the LA Times a few months ago that a feedlot in Texas had been placed under quarantine becuase the owner had been feeding his cattle with processed animal material.

I believe that the case of Oprah and Howard Lyman vs. the cattlemen was triggered when Lyman insisted that this practice was widespread in the United States. Does anybody else remember the details?

From what I understand, the process of putting ground up animal remains into farm animal as well as pet foods is still going on. There’s quite a lot of money tied up in that. Rendering plants extract oils from all sorts of dead animals, often diseased ones, and along with great masses of body parts and sell or use the remains in pet foods and animal feed.

There’s quite a chunk of animal tissue left over from butchering cattle that the FDA forbids being used in human food, mainly the next tissues and certain glands. They were using the stuff in hamburger, but problems popped up when they ground up the thyroid gland and gave people hyperthyroidism. Given half a chance, the meat industry would shove every chunk of tissue into human food, no matter what the consequences, but the government says no.

Imagine: hamburger made from scrap beef including the thyroid and pituitary glands, adrenal glands, pancreas, lung tissue, neck fat, the snout and asshole of the cow. MMMMMMM! Tasty huh? They’d probably dump in the manure found in the intestines if they could get away with it.

As it is, certain prepared meet products do contain lung, pancreas, connective tissues, snout, bladder, and udder meat, along with the uterus and vaginal tissues. There is actually a market for bull penis.

Mostly, such scrap goes into animal feed, including brain tissue. If not here, then the gunk is sold over seas, where they use it. I mean, look at fish remains. Most goes into pet food, but much goes into fertilizer and bricks of chum.

You’d think they’d learn from the changes happening to the population after they started injecting antibiotics and hormones into beef. Girls have begun developing much earlier than when I was in school and people have begun to become immune to the same antibiotics used so often in cows and research had indicated these injections as the reason why.

So, feeding chickens, cows, and other meat animals which are normally herbivores, products made from their own species just might cause problems. It’s like feeding a cow steak or hamburgers to a horse. Imagine what might happen if zoos decided to feed lions and bears vegetarian diets disguised as meat. Boy! Animal Rights groups would be up in arms in a minute!

It is acceptable though, to feed humans meats fed on bastardized diets.

I mean, it’s been proven that lentils have more protein in them per pound than meat, that Soya beans come in second, followed by assorted beans. So, there’s a cheap source of nice safe, uncontaminated protein additives right there. Takes less processing also. Most beans do not strip the ground of nutrients either, making them a beneficial crop for farmers to grow, instead of being paid to no use acreage. Peas actually benefit soils they grow in, so after harvesting, the vines plowed into the ground naturally fertilize the dirt and add a large amount of organic material to it.

But, the notoriously corrupt meat industry has long had a hold on congress and a desire to make a buck off of everything.

In a documentary I saw once, it was pointed out that in a major meat processing plant, way back when, scraps on the filthy floors were sluiced into drains, caught in baskets and processed into canned meats!!! Then sold to the public. Even now, the health departments have a hard time keeping current plants clean because after the inspectors leave, they go right back to being sloppy, because it’s cheaper.

There are two separate and unrelated issues here:

  1. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) was caused by feeding animal protein to cows. It is not only scrapie-infected sheep meat which is the problem, but any brain or nervous tissue.

BSE is eventually fatal to the cows which get it.

There is some evidence that eating BSE-infected beef causes new variant CJD in humans.

It is fair to say that BSE is the product of farmers’ (and the feed industry’s) greed, incompetence and stupidity.

  1. Foot and mouth disease is a virulent viral infection which is endemic in most of the world. North America is one of the few regions which does not have it. Europe has it more or less under control (in the long term), but outbreaks still occur from time to time. The virus can be spread over large distances by the wind, or mechanically by the movement of people, animals and vehicles. The last outbreak in the UK before this one, on the Isle of Wight in the early 1980s, is believed to have been blown across the English Channel from France.

Few animals dies from foot and mouth, unless they are already sick or malnourished. It does, however, reduce their milk and meat yields. Most make a full recovery in three or four weeks.

It is harmless to humans: eating meat or drinking milk from an animal which has had the infection will not make you ill, nor will contact with an infected animal.

It is fair to say that farmers bear no blame for the foot and mouth outbreak, but another interesting question is this: Are the measures now being taken to control the foot and mouth outbreak causing more damage (both to farming and other rural industries such as tourism) than the disease itself would if we just allowed it to become endemic?