mad cow disease and pigs

Gordon Couger gcouger at REMOVE.provalue.net
Wed May 9 22:29:33 EST 2001

In article <p0501040fb71f6389eafb@[]>, martin weiss says...
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"
>>I live in the midwest of the United States of America. We are 
>>accustomed to buying large quantites of meat from a packing plant 
>>and filling our freezer. I am thinking about buying a 1/2 hog. Are 
>>pigs involved in the mad cow controversy? Thank You
>If you do a search on Google for pigs mad cow disease you'll find a 
>number of sites talking about BSE and pigs. However, I would go to 
>cdc.gov or who.org to see what is new. There does not seem to be a 
>lot of BSE in the US or it has not yet surfaced. However, I suspect 
>if there were animals infected with BSE here, as in England, we'd be 
>seeing human cases here and now. Feeding pigs in the US is highly 
>regulated to cut down the transmission of trichinella and trichinosis 
>however that relates to feeding them pig meat, which might be 
>infected with the worm. Most cases of trichinosis in the US involve 
>home produced (not commercially grown) pigs and inadequate treatment 
>or cooking of their products. I am not certain if the regulations 
>cover feeding them cow or sheep meat which might be infected with the 
>BSE prion.
>It probably comes down to risk perception. If you drive at high 
>speeds on the highway you certainly are greater risk of dying in a 
>car crash than dying from BSE if you buy and eat a side of pork.
>Martin Weiss, Ph.D.
>Director of Science
>New York Hall of Science
With 100 human cases of vCJD(human BSE) and 200,000 cases of BSE in cattle in
England it is extremely unlikely that we will see the index case of BSE of US
origin in humans. Your comment about the risk of being killed in a car crash is
more likely that being killed by BSE in England even if for a cow. That is how
much BSE is blown out of proportion.

The fact that we feed a great deal less animal protein to cattle in the US than
they do in the EU makes the spread of BSE much less likely in the US. We have
cheap oil seed meals that aren't available in the EU and the meat, blood and
bone meal it fed to hogs, chickens and fish where it has more value. Of course
now there is no ruminate protein being fed to ruminates at all.


Gordon Couger
Stillwater OK

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