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BSE Rule May Raise Carcass Dumping, Warns Vet

02 January 2009

US - Nebraska's state veterinarian is among those worried that dead cattle could be left to rot in windbreaks or ditches because of a federal regulation intended to prevent mad cow disease.

The new rule, which takes effect April 27, says cattle over 30 months of age may not be rendered for animal feed unless their brains and spinal cords are removed first, according to Omaha World Herald.

The Food and Drug Administration regulation is intended to prevent the prions that cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, from slipping into livestock feed and causing an outbreak in cattle. Prions are found in the brain and spinal cord.

The rendering truck is a popular method for disposing of cattle that die before going to market. But some fear that rendering companies may stop picking up dead cattle or that higher fees will discourage farmers from calling a rendering company when an animal dies. The result could be dead cattle that are illegally dumped.

"It's going to be a major problem, " said State Veterinarian Dennis Hughes, who works for the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. "We fear farmers are going to be hauling them into shelterbelts or ditches, to make good coyote food."


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