The federal government has finally concluded itsextensive investigation into the origins of the incidence of mad cow disease in Texas last June.
The government closed its investigation into the nation’s first domestic case of mad cow disease Tuesday, saying it could not pin down how a Texas cow was infected with the brain-wasting ailment.
The Agriculture Department and FDA said the investigation indicated there was no danger to human or animal health.
So, officials aren’t sure what happened, but are sure that it was an isolated case. In addition, they agreed to let the industry police itself in tracking animals for future outbreaks.
The move was applauded by the dominant cattle ranchers’ group, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which is creating its own tracking system and hopes the department will rely on it.
“Protection of producers’ rights and confidentiality is a top priority, and the industry is best equipped to do this,” said Mike John, a Missouri cattle producer and president-elect of the group.
Shows how little I know, I would never have suspected that confidentiality would be a top priority in preventing mad cow disease. Yet, if we want to reduce reported violations, this does make some sense since USDA inspectors are busy enough as it is.
Inspectors found more than 1,000 violations of rules aimed at preventing mad cow disease from reaching humans, the Agriculture Department said Monday.[Aug. 15]
You can bet that more inspectors would only result in more unconfidential violations.
Oklahomans need only look to poultry producers to see the results of letting industry manage their own farming operations.
Lake Tenkiller, the Illinois River and the Arkansas River are all listed as “impaired” in a report released Monday by the State Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
“Impaired” means the water quality has reached a point where it cannot be used for some beneficial uses and activities, depending upon the impairment.
Monty Elder, DEQ spokeswoman, explained that those beneficial uses include swimming, fishing, wading, being used for public or private water supplies, hydropower and agriculture.
If only the poultry industry could convince Oklahoma’s Attorney General that confidentiality is also a priority for them.