Officials bemoan lack of livestock ID plan

May 4, 2006

U.S. officials are bemoaning the lack of a national livestock identification plan, saying it is hindering investigations into disease outbreaks.

Government officials say they recently had to close an Alabama mad cow case because they couldn't trace the animal to prevent other cattle it had contact with from entering the food chain, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The fatal brain-wasting disease, known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, can cause a similar severe neurological ailment in people who eat products from infected cattle.

The 10-year-old Alabama animal was diagnosed with mad cow disease in March, most likely contracting it by eating contaminated food during the first year of its life. Officials wanted to identify the cow's birthplace to track other cows that probably ate the same feed.

A proposed national livestock identification program has met strong resistance, although Canada, the European Union and other nations have established such procedures that allow authorities to track sick animals to prevent disease outbreaks.

Debate in the United States involves such questions as whether the system should be mandatory, who should control the data and what sort of technology should be used.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: 21 infected in far north Russia anthrax outbreak

Related Stories

21 infected in far north Russia anthrax outbreak

August 2, 2016

Russia on Tuesday confirmed 21 cases of anthrax, including one fatality, after an unusual heatwave melted permafrost in its remote far north, releasing potentially lethal spores from the soil.

A-grade report card on superbugs in Australian animals

June 24, 2016

The first nationwide survey of antibiotic resistance in disease-causing bacteria in Australian pets and livestock has found low rates of resistance to critically important drugs–comparing very favourably with other countries ...

The Dolly legacy: Are you eating cloned meat?

July 4, 2016

Two decades after Scotland's Dolly the sheep became the first cloned mammal, consumers may well wonder whether they are drinking milk or eating meat from cookie-cutter cows or their offspring.

To fight superbugs, fight poverty

June 1, 2016

On May 26, 2016, researchers at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center reported the first case of what they called a "truly pan-drug resistant bacteria." By now, the story has been well-covered in the media: a month ...

Q&A: Superbug precursor found in US again

July 11, 2016

A New York City patient was infected with bacteria that had a special type of resistance to antibiotics last year, the earliest known case in the U.S. of bacteria that could lead to a superbug impervious to medications.

Recommended for you

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.