USDA and Texas Animal Health Commission Announcement of Animal Origin in BSE Case
Terry Stokes, Chief Executive Officer
National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Centennial, Colorado
June 29, 2005

"A short time ago the United States Department of Agriculture and the Texas Animal Health Commission announced a status report on the June 24, 2005 confirmed case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, also, know as mad cow disease).

"USDA said DNA test results confirmed that the animal was born and raised in a herd in Texas and was approximately 12 years old. In accordance with World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines, USDA is continuing the investigation to identify other 'animals of interest' and a hold has been placed on the source herd.

"It is important to remember that the animal did not enter the human food or animal feed supply, and the animal was born before the industry’s feed ban. 

"The bottom line for consumers remains the same: Your beef is safe. Scientists, medical professionals and government officials agree that BSE is not a public health risk in the United States. BSE infectivity has not been found in beef, including steaks, roasts and ground beef.

"Food safety is assured through mandatory removal of specified risk materials at processing, and the health of the U.S. cattle heard is protected by the feed ban implemented in 1997.

"Since June 2004, the U.S. BSE Enhanced Surveillance Program has tested nearly 395,000 targeted animals at highest risk for BSE and has found only this case, which confirms that our firewalls are working and the prevalence of this disease in the U.S. is extremely low.

"This announcement is assurance that our animal health monitoring, surveillance and traceback systems are working.

"As America's beef producers, our number-one priority has always been providing the safest beef in the world. Our livelihood depends on it and NCBA has worked with the government and top scientists for more than 15 years to build, maintain and expand the safeguards that today are protecting consumers and our cattle from BSE." 

To learn more about BSE, information can found at the following Web sites:

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