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Mad Cow/Pet Food

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Mad Cow disease has been found again, in the US.
A sick cow's illness must have progressed to the point where it can hardly stand before it is pulled from the human food market.
We know that large meat producing companies, don't waste anything, if they can help it.
What do they do with sick, dangerous cows?
Are they used in our cat's food?
What do you think about this very scary situation?
post #2 of 26
OMG that is a horrible thought isn't it I wouldn't want to even hear of it going into our animals food. That would just be GRRRR I can't say...
post #3 of 26
Well, I for one am concerned about it. The US doesn't have the strict regulations in place in Europe. But then, we don't have the incidence of BSE here, either. I suppose eventually we will. But until then all we have to rely on is the fact that the risk is very, VERY low. If you knew for sure that there was a one in a million chance of getting run over by a car the next time you walked across the street, would you stay on this side of the street? I wouldn't. Would you worry about it? I wouldn't. Would you look two ways before crossing? I would. You bet.
post #4 of 26
I don't think it's a worry (I could be very wrong).
I remember working in a dairy and one of the cows dropped dead in the dorrway to the milk house.
The whole facility was shut down, USDA inspectors came out with vets to determine cause of dead, the cows were milked by hand and the milk discarded.
The cow was removed, and the milk house disinfected.
Exact cause of death was not determined, but heart disease was suspect.
The dead cow in question was actually ground up as fertilizer as it was deemed unfit for consumption.
post #5 of 26
I believe this happened in my state as it was all over the news yesterday. They have assured us that since the cow was a downer, meaning it did NOT enter any food chains, we have nothing to worry about.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicknleah
I believe this happened in my state as it was all over the news yesterday. They have assured us that since the cow was a downer, meaning it did NOT enter any food chains, we have nothing to worry about.
Do consider that the symptoms might appear a long time after the infection.
Thus, the cows might appear healthy but be diseased. This cow was a downer and thus was tested. The cows that are infected but don't show symptoms yet will not be tested and thus might enter a food chain. Scary stuff. Especially considering by-products are frequently used in cat food.
post #7 of 26
i read somewhere on the internet about 1 year ago, about a factory that made "Wal-YouKnowWho" brand pet food was the same place Mad Cow is suspected to have originated from in Canada. I do not remember the website or who wrote the website, but i do remember the site seemed legitimate

for safety sake, i avoid that retailer's pet food remembering how Ford kept selling pintos depite the fact it was unsafe
post #8 of 26
It was never totally proven, but at the time of the real BSE scare in Britain a few years ago, some cats did die of similar symptoms, and had brain damage of hte same type as Mad Cow Disease. At the time, it was thought of as possible that they had caught it through cat food infected with the remains of cows. But it all kind of petered out, and then the epidemic was brought under control. The thing is, that the incubation period is so long, that there would be every chance that infected cats would die of other causes long before the disease showed itself.
post #9 of 26
There were also cases of FSE in domestic cats in France, Belgium, and I believe Switzerland. Some large cats in British zoos also died of it. Now no brains or tissue close to the spinal cord can be processed in the EU, and all steers over 24 months are tested for BSE. The problem is that the farmers have simply made a habit of sending their cows to slaughter before they reach that age, so there are no guarantees.
post #10 of 26
If you use a food with no by products ... you are safe to say your cat food is safe bse is found in the brain aand spinal column
post #11 of 26
During the last mad cow scare there was no pet food containing beef in the stores, they had a notice on the shelves stating mad cow as the reason so I would assume if there was a risk this time around the same thing would happen
post #12 of 26
I could write much more about this topic - I have thproughly resrached it. On the personal side though, I had a friend and cousin die of CJDvar and it was the WIORST death I have ever witnessed and I see death weekly. I have not touched beef since and never will!! I don't care how much the industry and Health Canada or in the US, the FDA or USDA claims it's safe. BSE has been here for awhile and there are people dying of the new variant type - my cousin was in Montreal - but you won't hear it from industry or FDA types. I was at a health conference and an acquaintance was dining with me and another doc, who is a psychiatrist (we all need psychiatric friends, lol - seriosuly she is great at her work and a wonderful friend and for those of you from Canada, a wise Cape Bretoner too!) - and this acquaintence said, "you guys will think I am crazy but I've asked by the DOH (Health Dept at the prov level) to not say anything but we have a patient with CJDvar! I assured her I believed her!!

CJDvar is the new more aggressive kind that is directly linked to BSE. Typically, CJD itself was seen in one in a million people and it affacted people who were from 55 plus and took years to develop - a slow Alzheimer's tho there are different types of Alz so that is not the best description either. Some scientists, the man who discovered prions - the protein molecules that lead to CJD - among them believe that many of the Alzheimer cases we see are actually CJD. He won the Nobel Prize for his discovery and there is a very down to earth readable article about him in Scientific American. Pop science but is a good article, comments by some of my more ivory tower laden colleagues comments to the contrary. (They dismiss ScAmerican as pop science but I think any publication that explains science in a way that most ppl understand has to be doing something right!!)

I do not know if I subscribe to the theory about the dearth of Alzheimer's cases but a recent book by the retired medical examiner of Toronto has forwarded the same thesis. He also points out there are NO cases of Alzheimer's in India or countries where vegetarianism is the rule and not the exception. He may have a point there.

Anyway, the fact is it is here - there are cases in the US as well, a cluster of cases in Saratoga Springs, NY recently.

If you really like beef, you could stay away from the brains and anything with a lot of bodily fluids but after watching my cousin die, it was so emotionally and even physically painful to watch and I eat NO beef. I so liked steaks!!

That's my take on the subject. This disease makes your brain like Swiss cheese, creating little holes in it and eating away at the brain cells and nerves so that you slowly die (tho CJDvar is faster than the regular type, anywhere from 6 mos- 2 yrs). Neither can it be cured!! Nothing can sterilize prions - not even the most super sanitizing methods employed by hospitals. They continue to live. Families of CJD victims are further traumatized at the death because the bodies cannot be buried. (too much concern about contamination). In my cousin's case, she was a Roman Catholic who wanted a burial but she had to be cremated. In Britain, some of the families have gone thru horror after their loved one died. No funeral, the body treated like contaminated waste. I work in oncology and death is not a stranger to my world but Oh my God, this was beyond description and I would not wish it on my worst enemy - not that I have any enemies, lol (But you know some horrible person like Osama).

Anyway, enough with the gory details. It's up to you whether to eat meat and I feel sorry for the poor beef farmers but I am not going to be partaking of any of their products anytime soon.
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
CyberKitten...thank you for your detailed post.
If you learn anything more, please let us know. The beef industry & our goverments are not giving us clear information, that would help us make an informed decision about eating beef or feeding it to our cats.
My guess is that they fear the public would panic & stop eating it.
It's about money. That is very scary.
post #14 of 26
It's really scary. Because my cat has FIC, they told me to feed him Walthman's SO food. Well, it's all well and good, except the stupid food has meat by-products in it. And I don't want to feed that to my cat, especially with mad cow around. Anybody else makes good canned food without by-products for cats with urinary problems?
As for now, my cats will be eating food made out of chicken.
post #15 of 26
i eat meat from my uncles farm and he has his tested constantly....as for the kitties, we go for chicken stuff....sure do hope the goverment starts being more foward however.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
My guess is that they fear the public would panic & stop eating it. It's about money.
Sure it's about money. Business generally doesn't do anything that will eat into the profit margin unless they are forced to by regulation.
post #17 of 26
This is a link to the WHO's report on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, including FSE: http://www.who.int/csr/resources/pub...sraph20002.pdf
post #18 of 26
Jcat
thank you I bookmarked it ... just ate breakfast so not now..
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link JCat. That WHO conference was held in Dec. 1999.
I wonder if their recommendations were implmented by our government & if they have been updated since then?
post #20 of 26
Let me put it this way - the WHO is an international organization which doesn't appear to depend on hearsay reports or self-aggrandizement, so I trust its conclusions more than the personal opinions of self-proclaimed experts. As far as beef is concerned - the doubts many people have regarding its safety could also be extended to mutton/lamb (scrapie) and venison, so those who are particularly concerned may want to take advantage of meat products from organic farms.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster
Sure it's about money. Business generally doesn't do anything that will eat into the profit margin unless they are forced to by regulation.
Not so in my practice or experience with some of the companies I purchase wholesale from...not to hijack this thread though.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Let me put it this way - the WHO is an international organization which doesn't appear to depend on hearsay reports or self-aggrandizement, so I trust its conclusions more than the personal opinions of self-proclaimed experts. As far as beef is concerned - the doubts many people have regarding its safety could also be extended to mutton/lamb (scrapie) and venison, so those who are particularly concerned may want to take advantage of meat products from organic farms.
Well said, thank you. And thank you for that link which I'm off to read. XoCats - I will post another link for you, of a 2004 study, describing the number of cases of Alzheimers Disease (AD) in India, and why they think it is *lower*...it does still occur there.
post #23 of 26
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
I love curry too but I really don't know how to use it in my cooking. I'll have to look into ways to use it more often. Thanks for the great link. This subject is fascinating.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
post #25 of 26
CNN currently has a story about the risk of mad cow disease in the U.S.:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/06/25....ap/index.html
I don't know - this is something I'm a bit concerned about, because I live in Europe, and remember the total panic, and dire predictions of a pandemic of vCJD a decade ago, but that has failed to materialize. My state seems to average about one positive BSE test a month, and, oddly enough, a goat tested positive for it (not scrapie). There have been no reported cases of FSE here. I tend to buy cat food either from North America, or that made from "organic" meat. We now have a few local brands of the latter.
I don't believe you can rule out all danger to your cats, but it seems to be very small, and, as I mentioned above, I'm not absolutely certain that other meats are safer than beef, if, as the theory goes, cows originally got BSE from being fed animal (sheep) meal, and deer can suffer from CWD. Avian flu has also managed to "jump species" in Asia.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the CNN link JCat.
It is reassuring to know that the downer cow found last year, was kept out of the animal food-supply chain. I agree with your assesment about meat in general.
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