Officials bemoan lack of livestock ID plan

May 04, 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: Interactivity tools can boost persuasiveness of websites

Related Stories

Lethal control of wolves backfires on livestock

Dec 03, 2014

Washington State University researchers have found that it is counter-productive to kill wolves to keep them from preying on livestock. Shooting and trapping lead to more dead sheep and cattle the following ...

Recommended for you

Music: Will climate change give us the blues?

Apr 14, 2015

Climate change is predicted to intrude into almost every area of life—from where we live, to what we eat and whom we war with. Now music can be added to the list.

User comments : 0

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.