.......... PAGE ONE

Could Mad Cow Happen to Us?
Precautions in Canada, Australia and

Big Bucks at Stake - Where's the Beef?
Aussie Cattle
American Cattle
US Beef Production

US Cattle Numbers
US Useable Cattle Products
Canadian Cattle
Bucking at Battered British Beef
Trouble in Burger Land
Where to Put it
Counting the Cost
Rendered Useful?

Tell it Like it is Lyman
Cowboy Boots and Lawsuits
Roadside Diner
Too Close to Home
CWD in Colorado
Who's the Prey?
Misled and Misfed
Hunter Warning Belies Nonchalance

Funky Funding? Flawed Facts?
Can CWD be Transmitted to People?
Buried Time Bomb
Another CWD Death?
Pringle Perspective
Dough, Oh Dear, A Female Deer
How Bib is BIG?
Colorado Deer and Elk Tags
Something to Think About. . .


Dear Family and Friends


Monday in a UK paper The Independent, there appeared a short article about "Mad Elk" in the US. Most disturbing was a comment by Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers' Association. He indicated,
"It's here (referring to BSE). They are starting to make noises about it now in the last days of the Clinton administration because they know it is going to burst into the open on the Bush watch. It is one thing that is going to bring the new administration down."1

Partisan politics aside, most of us are very tired hearing about Clinton's sexcapades, dirty deals, slippery negotiations and national security secrets handed to China. However, if he and his administration suspected we have BSE in the cattle and looked the other way while it entered our food chain, we can only hope he has a spot reserved right next to Hitler.

It is increasingly evident that self-education about these diseases is mandatory or we may wind up dead. We're not meaning to be dramatic, but there's no way to soft-pedal something this serious. Education requires continuous diligent searching, not reading a couple of articles and feeling like an expert. New data on the different TSEs (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies) emerge daily. Reading a wide range of sources is the best assurance against false data and disinformation. The more you read, you'll see a pervasive "no worries mate" attitude. Look where that got Europe.


The first step in preventing disaster is having reliable information. It's imperative to separate fact from fiction and to do so, we must be assured we're being told the Truth.

The question is, are we?

It's doubtful since some of the groups funding Mad Cow and Chronic Wasting Disease research are those with the most at stake should bad news surface. As we saw last week, Britons were lied to by their government for more than a decade and the results were deadly. It may be many years before the full impact is seen. We have to wonder if the same scenario is being played out in the US, Canada and Australia. Are we being kept in the dark? Source: CJD Foundation

Every month the nonprofit CJD Foundation runs a "quick" poll. It is neither scientific nor representative and is voted on by those stopping at their web site. Last month's short poll shows there is a strong feeling among people that folks in their own communities are largely unaware of CJD - the human form of these diseases. Surprised when so much information has been in the news? Later in this newsletter, you'll read that not only are some people shockingly uninformed, they just flat don't care.

The responsibility to stay on top of this mess lies with each one of us. We must read and learn as much as possible in order to live safely and care for our families.

The guy on the right was told he should just rely on what authorities tell him about the safety of his food, that CWD can't jump specie into cows, that his blood supply is completely "clean" and he has no worries. Hey, we have no control over this fellow. His reaction was completely unrehearsed. Think he believes?


The simple answer is "yes", but it may not be as likely to occur here because of the controls placed by the USDA's (US Department of Agriculture) Food Safety Division and APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), CDC (Center for Disease Control), FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service), ANZFA (Australia New Zealand Food Authority) and CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency). Officially, there have been no cases of BSE in America, Australia and New Zealand. The one case that showed up in Canada was a British import which was subsequently destroyed along with all others in its herd.

Australia, Canada and the U.S. have taken precautionary measures to keep BSE out of their food chains. Hopefully the actions are "enough" and they've not been instituted too late.

Has Scrapie
Program in Place
BSE, Scrapie Reporting
Australia No No, AU last case in 1952, New Zealand last case in 1954 No Yes, implemented in 1998 Yes
Canada 1 case imported from UK, cow and herd destroyed Yes 14 elk with CWD, 1,700 Canadian elk killed in Saskatchewan as precaution Dec. 7, 2000 Yes, BSE reportable disease since 1990; surveillance since 1992 Yes, under the federal Health of Animals Act
US No From 1947 - August 1999, scrapie has been found in 950+ flocks; 7 sheep in Vermont; Current flock report
Yes, NE Colorado, SE Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, Montana Nebraska and Oklahoma affecting 1% elk, up to 15% of deer Yes, since 1990; 12,000 brains of highest risk cattle checked as of Oct. 31, 2000 Yes

Has Internat'l Livestock ID Program
Ban on Britain's Live Ruminants
Ban on Britain's Beef and/or Beef Products
Ban on All European Live Ruminants & By-products
Ban on All European Ruminant Meat and By-products
Australia Yes Yes 1996 - beef, Jan. 8, 2000 banned 250+ beef items Yes Jan. 8, 2000 banned 250+ beef products
Canada Yes, as of 2001; have until July 1, 2002 to comply Yes Yes Yes Yes
US Not yet, has until August 2003 to develop program

July 1989; and restricted importing certain cattle products

Yes; December 1991, restricted importing ruminant meat and edible products; banned most by-products of ruminants
December 12, 1997, banned importing live ruminants and most ruminant products

December 6, 1991, restricted importing ruminant meat & edible products; banned most by-products of ruminants from countries with BSE

Restricts Use of Rendered Ruminant Protein (MBM)
Ban on Britain's Animal Feed
Ban on all European Animal Feed
Blood Donor Banned From People Visting UK 1980-96*
Ban on Imported Cattle Semen & Embryos From BSE-Affected Countries
Australia Banned feeding sheep to cattle in 1996, but uses powdered remains of chicken, horse, kangaroo, pig, poultry and fish. Yes Yes Yes Yes, AQIS allows imports from low BSE-incidence countries with certain provisos
Canada August 4, 1997 Yes Yes Yes. In August 2000, same ban applied to France N/A
US Banned Aug. 1997 except**;
Full ban Dec. 7, 2000
1989 1996 Yes, since 1999. As of Jan. 17, 2001, the American Red Cross banned donors living anywhere in W. Europe from 1980 to now. Yes, since 1989

*This same ban on British blood donors is also practiced by Austria, Belgium, France, some German states and Switzerland.
Allowed the use of products believed to pose a minimal risk of BSE transmission. These products included blood, blood products, gelatin, milk, milk products, protein derived solely from swine and equine sources, and inspected meat products which have been offered for human food and further heat processed for food, such as plate waste from restaurants and other institutions.


There's an old American saying that goes, "He who has the gold makes the rules." In Australia there is a similar saying, "He who eats my meat dances to the tune I play." Let's hope this doesn't apply to informing the public about TSEs as certain industries would have a lot to lose.

During 12 months of 1998-1999, 10 million head of cattle in Australia were slaughtered for human consumption. Australia produced just a shade over 2 million tonnes (2.2 million tons) of beef - up 3% from the previous 12 months.

That 10 million head does not include cattle culled for boiling down for a myriad of purposes nor animals condemned to death due to illness or injury.2
Australia's beef industry is estimated to be just over AU$4 billion, based on 1998 sale prices.

$4 billion is quite a tidy sum, but we nearly fell over seeing the stats for America. Granted there are 15 times the number of people in the States, but the bucks in bovines are staggering.

We don't want to bore you with stats, but to get abetter understanding what's going on and who wields mighty influence, it's important to see who has the most at 'steak,' so to speak.

Even with a push from doctors to eat less red meat and replace it with vegetarian dishes or fish or poultry, Americans love their beef. Some growth in the chart below must be attributed to an expanding population, but beef is a huge part of the American diet.

Source: National Cattlemen's Beef Association http:www.beef.org, USDA & Cattle-Fax


Text and Graphics, 2001 Stan and Holly Deyo, except where otherwise credited