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Agricultural News

K-State Researchers Determine Why Feedyards Not Buying E.Coli Vaccine

Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:59:26 CDT

K-State Researchers Determine Why Feedyards Not Buying E.Coli Vaccine

It was back in 1993 when an e-coli outbreak was traced back to hamburgers purchased at Jack in the Box restaurants. The state of Washington accused Jack in the Box with having responsibility for the contaminated meat. Three children died from E. coli 0157:H7 poisoning - the strain linked to Jack in the Box. The fast food chain made changes in how they handled meat and this lead to the development of the fast-food industry's first comprehensive food-safety program, the Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points system, commonly referred to as HACCP.

Researchers also developed a vaccine to help prevent another e-coli outbreak. Unfortunately this vaccine has had limited industry acceptance. Kansas State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Glynn Tonsor and Center for Risk Management Director Dr. Ted Schroeder have done research trying to determine why the cattle industry is not utilizing e-coli vaccine at the feedlot level. Together they looked at the economic impact of additional use of the vaccine. If every feedlot animal in the U.S. was administered an e-coli vaccine, Tonsor said they estimated there would be a $1 billion to $1.8 billion dollar loss for the U.S. beef industry. With use of the vaccine, he said it was assumed there would no additional demand for those fed cattle, so that's why acceptance has been limited.

"In order for us to have additional adoption, there has to be an increased value of fed cattle that pulls use of the technology into the feedyard," Tonsor said.

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Tonsor on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.

Whether you are talking about e-coli mitigation or anything else, this an example of why sometimes new technology is not adopted. Tonsor said just because this vaccine works by reducing e-coli prevalence or shedding, it does not guarantee it will be used.   In this case, he said currently there isn't a market signal to the average feed yard to adopt and implement this preventative measure.

Click here to read the K-State report - E. coli Vaccination in U.S. Feedlot Cattle: Market Impacts.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.


Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Glynn Tonsor of K-State
right-click to download mp3


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