Vidyya Medical News Service
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Volume 6 Issue 10 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 10-Jan-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 11-Jan-2004
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USDA BSE update for 8 January 2004

On January 6, USDA euthanized the entire bull calf herd from Sunnyside, Washington. Approximately 450 animals were euthanized according to American Veterinary Medical Association humane guidelines. USDA officials secured the animal carcasses overnight and disposed of the carcasses by landfill on January 7. None of the carcasses entered the human food supply chain or were rendered.

In regard to the ongoing investigation, USDA has located another animal that came into the United States with the index cow. This animal is also part of the dairy herd located in Mattawa, Washington, that is under a Washington State hold order. USDA now has 12 of the 82 cattle listed on the Canadian health certificate definitely accounted for. These animals include the index cow; nine animals known to be part of the index herd; and two animals on the Mattawa premises. USDA also believes that one of the animals listed on the health certificate remained in Canada and did not enter the United States.

Tracebacks of the other 69 animals that entered the United States continues. USDA has good leads on the whereabouts of many of these animals. In regard to the 17 animals from the BSE-infected animal’s birth herd that may have also arrived in the United States as part of a later shipment, USDA and Canadian officials continue to work to confirm if any or all of these 17 animals—all heifers—did in fact enter the United States.

Please see last week’s daily BSE updates at www.aphis.usda.gov for more information, as well as the transcripts of the daily BSE media briefings at www.usda.gov.

On January 8, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued four new rules to implement announcements made last week by Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman to further enhance safeguards against BSE.

On Dec. 30, 2003, Secretary Veneman announced a number of policies that will further strengthen protections against BSE, including the immediate banning of non-ambulatory (downer) animals from the human food supply. Rules to address the remaining issues are on display at the Federal Register today and are the result of many months of development. These policies involve: requiring additional process controls for establishments using advanced meat recovery (AMR) systems; holding meat from cattle that have been tested for BSE until the test results are received and they are negative; and prohibiting the air-injection stunning of cattle.

More information on the rules released today can be found in today's issue of Vidyya.

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