- Last year, the USDA announced a landmark policy to stop
purchasing meat from downed cows for Federal programs, including the
School Lunch Program. The Agency stated, "USDA will no longer accept
ground beef that includes product from non-ambulatory cattle, commonly
known as "downers'. This development shows a growing consensus- even
among livestock industry and government officials- that the marketing and
slaughter of downed animals is unacceptable.
- Our chances of stopping the downed animal trade are
now than ever, and letters are needed to urge the Food and Drug
to grant petition 98P-0151/CP1 to prohibit the slaughter of downed animals.
Please write today, and please encourage others to write as well:
- How You Can Help
- Please write to the Food and Drug Administration's
Management Branch to urge that they grant our petition to prohibit the
slaughter of downed animals - docket number 98P-0151/CP1. It is critical
that you include the docket number in your comment. Please write to:
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Dockets Management Branch
- 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
- Rockville, MD 20852
- FAX: 301-827-6870
- E-mail: FDADockets@oc.fda.gov
- Some points to make include:
- Animals who are too sick or injured even to stand should
not be allowed to enter the human food chain.
- In addition to posing an increased risk for bacterial
contamination, there is evidence that some downed animals may be afflicted
with a form of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or "Mad Cow
a disease which has been linked to a fatal human illness (CJD or
- It is impossible to move downed animals humanely, and
they are typically pushed with tractors or dragged with chains - inhumane
processes which cause injuries ranging from bruises and abrasions, to
bones and torn ligaments.
- Downed animals comprise a very small percentage of
slaughtered, and prohibiting their marketing will cause no undue economic
- Industry experts have estimated that 90% percent of
animals can be prevented with better care and handling. Removing the market
for downed animals will provide an incentive to industry to prevent downed
animals in the first place.
- Organic Consumers Association - http://www.purefood.org
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