Has anyone heard anything about mad cow disease in Canada? - page 2

A couple of months ago the Red Cross sent me away because I had spent time in the UK. I just heard on the radio that MCD's been found in Canada. Is this true?... Read More

  1. by   2ndCareerRN
    As for antibiotics, would the organic groups rather have sick steers with pnemonia and diarrhea taken to market instead of using antibiotics? There's no documentation that antibiotics affects the meat adversely in any way. We routinely vaccinate our cattle to prevent common communicable diseases in cattle.
    HoJo,
    Not all antibiotic use in livestock is for the prevention of disease. The use of antibiotics in livestock has been an established practice ever since they were shown to help promote a faster growing animal. The faster it grows, the sooner it can be shipped to market. And you are right, there is no evidence that antibiotic use affects the meat adversly. But antibiotic use is promoting restistant strains of bacteria in humans.

    Aren't antibiotics necessary to preserve the health of the livestock? While some uses of antibiotics in livestock operations are a matter of animal health, other uses have an economic motive. Especially troubling is their use not to cure sick animals but to promote "feed efficiency," that is, to increase the animal's weight gain per unit of feed. This so-called subtherapeutic use translates into relatively cheap meat prices at the grocery store.
    For an interesting article, clink on the following link.

    http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_envir...cfm?pageID=261


    bob
  2. by   HoJo
    Some of these super big corporate farms probably do some of things the article listed. In fact I don't doubt it one bit, especially when it comes to companies like the poutry and now pork giant Tyson Foods.

    Which is exactly why some farmers use growth hormone, if the scientific community weren't pushing all of this hormone free, antibiotic free products they would realize that and they could help to reduce the # of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. But no, instead there is no compromise and automatically any animal which has had growth hormone or antibiotics is deemed as not preferable.

    I assure you though we only treat our herd preventively or after periods of stress, ie: trucking steers from Washington State to South Dakota.

    However one thing I did find interesting about that site/article is that there were no documented sources listed anywhere in the article, not even so much as an author, which I fine extremely displeasing considering some of the statements that they made in that article should have documentation to back it up with, especially considering that it comes from a concerned group of scientists. And most all scientists I know, make darn sure that they use the appropriate documentation.

    I find that article interesting though, thanks for showing it to me.
  3. by   FROGGYLEGS
    I vaguely remember the first wave of mad cow disease. I remember Oprah was sued by someone for saying something about MCD and cattle. I don't remember exactly what.

    I was in no way, shape or form in the medical profession at that time and to be honest I don't know the 1st thing about MCD or what the risks are. I am quite interested after reading this posting though and thank you for the info. I guess I'm behind on this one and need to catch up and research it a tad.
  4. by   HoJo
    found a few good articles this may help to dispel some myths.

    the animal was slaughtered jan. 31st and not tested for mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (bse) until early last week? the 8 yr old cow was in a herd of 150 other cows who will be slaughtered today. somthing sounds weird there jan 31st and they test it last week?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2003may21.html

    also it looks like the canadian dropped the ball on this one and it has been in the making since 1995 according to this article from may 22, 2003 toronto star by richard brennan.

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/madc...lenge52203.cfm

    but testing in ontario came under scrutiny yesterday in the legislature with ndp leader howard hampton saying the province is risking the health of ontario by having only eight to 10 full-time inspectors compared to the 130 trained inspectors employed when the conservative government was elected in 1995.

    "now this government relies upon private contractors who have very inadequate wages, no pension, no benefits and have very little training ... so the quality and safety of ontario meat is now coming into question," hampton said later.
  5. by   fergus51
    No Hojo, I didn't confuse it with foot and mouth disease. What I mean is if Canada can have a case crop up (the first in a Loooooong time), then why would it be impossible for this to happen in the US? Just substitute SD for Alberta and is that possible.... I am honestly asking.
  6. by   HoJo
    Ok Fergus I follow you. The thing you have to remember here is the have an "idea" what causes it but other than that they really don't know exactly what other factors could play into it. Obviously we've know for a while now that the feed plays a huge factor.

    In Britain, the disease is now believed to have been spread by feed grains fortified with protein products made from bone meal and spinal cord or brain tissue from slaughtered cows.

    The use of such treated grain has been banned in Canada and the United States since 1997, but there are still many animals alive that were reared on such treated grain - and some might only now be succumbing to a disease they actually contracted in the mid-1990s.

    ''As soon as we can find the herd of origin of this animal, we'll be able to get a better idea of whether this cow was born in Canada, was born in another country, and what this animal was fed,'' said Claude Levigne of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    So it is possilbe that the 8yr old cow born in 1995 could have eaten protein/bone meal from 1995-1997.

    But there are other variables you have to consider with an unknown disease such as this one.

    For example this was an 8yr old Angus cow who more than likely had 6-7 calves. Now she probably had some heifers (females) and bulls (males). Since the disease is so new is it possible for the infected cow to pass that onto her offspring? And then is it possible for those calves to pass it on to their offspring.

    There is simply not enough known about the disease to draw any logical conclusions at this point. One can only ponder how this cow became infected because she was 8yrs old and the ban on importation from Britain came about in 1990, so that leaves a window where essentially the disease should have been eradicated.

    Mad cow disease, a still little-understood veterinary ailment for which there is no vaccine or cure, has an incubation period usually lasting from three to six years but sometimes stretching to a decade. That is why Canadian health and agricultural authorities are so focused on determining the origin of the black Angus, which was brought to the Alberta ranch three years ago, before Canada made it mandatory to keep extensive computerized records on the origins of all beef cows
    Like I said before the incubation period for the disease can last a long time according to the article above anywhere from 3-10yrs. And that is why this disease is so deadly. America is not concerned as much about cow/cow transmission because that has been r/o, so we think right now. But rather it is concerned with the integrity of the supply of U.S. beef. That is what truly is at stake here.

    Also another thing to consider is that U.S. is 100% mad cow disease free. Canada had an MCD cow in the 90's from Britain. 10yrs ago is not all that long ago with MCD when you consider that the incubation period can take 3-10yrs, thats a long time.

    The case is the first in Canada since a cow imported from Britain was diagnosed with BSE in 1993. That cow contracted the infection in Britain. Canada has banned imports from BSE-affected countries, and in 1997, it prohibited adding protein derived from ruminants - including cows and sheep - to feed destined for cattle. It has insisted that no cow has ever acquired BSE in Canada.
    Hope that sheds some light on the subject, either way though I don't think it'd be smart to open US/Canada borders for cattle trade for a long, long time. Until some documented facts about the cause of this come about. Sure it could have happened in SD but the fact remains that it didn't and there has still not been a case of MCD in the U.S. This newest case is in reality Canada's 2nd MCD.

    Hopefully everything will go well but I have a bad feeling about this one because no one in Alberta seems to know anything and thats definietly not good in a situation like this.

    Here are a couple of references
    http://www.organicconsumers.org/madc...w/new52203.cfm
    Last edit by HoJo on May 24, '03
  7. by   adrienurse
    Buy Manitoban Beef, or else buy certified organic.
  8. by   caroladybelle
    Originally posted by HoJo

    As for antibiotics, would the organic groups rather have sick steers with pnemonia and diarrhea taken to market instead of using antibiotics? There's no documentation that antibiotics affects the meat adversely in any way. We routinely vaccinate our cattle to prevent common communicable diseases in cattle.

    The only way these organic groups would ever get the type of beef you speak of would be to set up things like that privately with farmers, which I'm sure they would do if asked nicely.

    I will tell you this though if the organic meat which you speak of were labeled that way you could expect to pay ALOT more for it.
    Some of us put our money where our mouth is and do pay more for organics/kosher foods. I personally prefer my food to be non-genetically mutated/unadulterated with excess drugs.

    Correct if I am wrong, but prophylactic use of drugs/abx has led to development of drug resistant strains of disease in humans and animals. And if you overuse abx, animals and humans will get diarrhea (in humans, c-diff is common in patients overexposed to abx) due to "good" bacteria being suppressed. In addition, any animals are given hormones to speed up growth and weight - something that many of us believe is unnecessary.

    Some of us believe that when we interfere excessively/unnecessarily with G-d's plan, we are doing harm. And eventually that harm comes back to us. CJ disease is nature's response to unnatural situation (cattle eating meat meal).

    I think I will stick to my organics, thank you.
  9. by   teeituptom
    WHERES THE BEEF
  10. by   Agnus
    A good case for becomming vegitarian
  11. by   HoJo
    Some of us put our money where our mouth is and do pay more for organics/kosher foods.
    Because just because its Kosher does not mean that it doens't have abx in or hormones in it. All it means is they killed the animal in a humane way. In fact I'll bet you eat veal don't you, cause there isn't nothing more expensive that veal meat.
  12. by   HoJo
    A good case for becomming vegitarian
    And get no true B vitamins, yeah thats real smart, lol. I'll bet someday vegetarianism will be a risk factor for anemia.
  13. by   caroladybelle
    Originally posted by HoJo
    Because just because its Kosher does not mean that it doens't have abx in or hormones in it. All it means is they killed the animal in a humane way. In fact I'll bet you eat veal don't you, cause there isn't nothing more expensive that veal meat.
    No, Hojo, I don't eat veal as I do not believe that it is humane in the way that it is raised. I rarily eat red meat whatsoever, as it is hard as traveler nurse to determine its origin. I prefer my birds to be free range. And as a UC patient, I cannot drink milk.

    True Kosher also means that the animal was raised in a humane manner, that there were regulations/supervision in place as to how the animal was handled and butchered (and the how the meat was handled after death). It also deals with grains and whether they are hybrid or altered. There are many Rabbinical scholars that do not feel that genetically altered foods can ever be considered truly kosher.

    As my grandparents owned a diary and a mercantile in the South, at home I am used to knowing the lifestyles of the animals that I partook of and how they were butchered and cared for. And I am used to butchers that know my family's/other individual's beliefs and deal with us accordingly. However, out here in the Diaspora, I generally eat very little red meat.


    Why, pray tell, would you ever think that I would eat veal? And what, pray tell did you lose in that bet?

close