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Agricultural News

Recent Case of Atypical BSE Found in Alabama, Though a Non-Event, Proves Control Systems Work

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 12:08:24 CDT

Recent Case of Atypical BSE Found in Alabama, Though a Non-Event, Proves Control Systems Work

Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays had the chance to speak with Colin Woodall of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Washington, D.C. office, about a subject that has cropped up and generally makes those in the beef industry cringe - BSE, or as it is commonly known, Mad Cow Disease. In recent weeks, a cow in Alabama was found with BSE. In this case, though, the disease was of the atypical variety, which is known to occur randomly in older cattle and does not pose the same kind of threat that classical BSE does, like for instance, with the infamous ‘Cow that Stole Christmas,’ in 2003. Although it turned out to be benign, the incident is still a bit jarring for producers, now with China having just reauthorized US beef’s access into their markets. Fortunately, says Woodall, the impact of the incident has been minimal and demonstrated the industry’s preparedness for such a case.

“Very little impact. We were actually surprised how few inquiries we actually received on this,” he told Hays. “Which I think is a very good thing for us. Because, we didn’t want this to be a major media issue.”

The fact is, this occurrence was not a surprise. Atypical BSE is recognized by world animal health organizations as something that happens - rarely - but still happens. Woodall points out that the cow’s symptoms were identified, and the cow’s origins were traced back in a timely manner, although he admits, perhaps not quite as fast as some would like. Nonetheless, the system in place proved the industry could properly handle such an event.

“It’s a huge win,” Woodall asserted. “It shows that we have been prepared and we continue to learn our lessons from that original case back in 2003. But also, it shows that when we negotiate these trade deals that we always need to make sure we have clauses in there that will prevent any negative action, just because we have another case of BSE, whether it’s classical or atypical. And, we did that in the most recent China deal.”

Listen to Hays and Woodall discuss the impact of the recent atypical BSE case found in Alabama, on today’s Beef Buzz.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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.



Listen to Hays and Woodall discuss the impact of the recent atypical BSE case found in Alabama
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