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Stop Spread Of Mad Cow Disease - FDA Bans Use Of Certain Cattle Parts In Pet Food

Posted Oct 22 2008 4:37pm

U.S. makers of pet food and all other animal feed will be prevented from using certain materials from cattle at the greatest risk for spreading mad cow disease under a rule that regulators finalized.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which oversees animal feed, said excluding high-risk materials from cattle 30 months of age or older from all animal feed will prevent any accidental cross-contamination between ruminant feed (intended for animals such as cattle) and non-ruminant feed or feed ingredients.

Contamination could occur during manufacture, transport or through the accidental misfeeding of non-ruminant feed to ruminant animals.

Canada and the United States banned the inclusion of protein from cows and other ruminant animals such as goats and sheep in cattle feed in 1997, following a mad cow outbreak in Britain.

The measure issued today finalizes a proposed rule opened for public comment in October 2005. It goes into effect on April 23, 2009.

The major U.S. safeguards against mad cow disease are the feed ban, a prohibition against slaughtering most"downer" cattle -- animals too sick to walk on their own -- for human food ,(does this mean they can be used in pet food? my comment) and a requirement for meat packers to remove from carcasses the brains, spinal cords and other parts most likely to contain the malformed proteins blamed for the disease.

The United States has found three cases of mad cow disease, including the first one detected in December of 2003. Soon after, U.S. beef exports were virtually halted. U.S. official have been slowly working to resume beef shipments.

Last week, South Korea officially announced it would gradually open its market to U.S. beef imports as Washington intensifies safety standards.

Eventually, if all goes well, a full range of U.S. beef boneless and bone-in, from animals of any age, would be shipped to a market estimated to be worth up to $1 billion a year. source

My feelings about this:
I thought this article was going to be about helping improve pet food and maybe make it safer. Then I realized it had nothing to do with Pet Health. Yes, it is about Human Health and that is very good. Why were they even using these "certain parts" to start with if they were not safe?
Are these the meat by-products used in pet food?

Seems like the shift was how the US wants to get the $1 billion dollars a year to exports. I hope this new ban helps make our meat supply safe to eat. I do think changes need to start in the feedlots, as in better hygiene, better food for the animals, and less antibiotics given to animals.

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