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Missouri Cattlemen say Missourians shouldn't lose sleep over Mad Cow Disease

March 14, 2006
By: Amy Becker
State Capital Bureau

Missourians have no need to fear Mad Cow according to studies by the Missouri Cattlemen's Association.

Amy Becker has more from the State Capitol.

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Brent Bryant, vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen's Association, says the organization is doing its part to protect the area from Mad Cow Disease by constantly testing cattle herds across the state and making sure feed lots follow the bans put forth by the USDA.

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Contents: "We've been working with the U.S. government and our state government to make sure our job number one is providing, safe wholsome beef products for consumers."

The cow can only contract the disease through feed and is not contagious.

Bryant says the organization was one of the first groups to ask for a voluntary feed ban before the USDA issued one in 1997.

From Jefferson City, I'm Amy Becker.

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The Missouri Cattlemen's Association says if Mad Cow Disease rears its ugly head in Missouri, they will be ready for it.

Reporting from the state Capitol, is Amy Becker.

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After a case of Mad Cow Disease was found in Alabama earlier this week, the Missouri Cattlemen say residents have nothing to worry about.

Brent Bryant, vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen's Association, says Missouri herds are constantly under surveillence and are only being fed with cattle feed allowed by the USDA.

If Mad Cow Disease is discovered in Missouri, Bryant says the organization will work closely with the USDA to isolate the infected livestock and anything that has come in contact with it.

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Contents: "It can only be passed through contaminated feed so there is a feed ban put in place. We've got firewalls to protect the feed supply, we've got the testing protocols plus we'd go ahead and remove any infectious materials that could be infections to both the feed supply and obviously the feed supply."

Bryant says the United States was lucky the disease hit Europe first so it had cases to learn from and time to form a prevention plan against the disease.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Amy Becker

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Discovery of the Mad Cow Disease in the United States left its mark on the Missouri meat industry but now exports are steadily climbing.

Amy Becker has more from Jefferson City.

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Since the first discovery of mad cow disease in the United States in 2003, Missouri meat faced many internationally closed doors.

Exports of meat briefly dropped after the discovery but are now on the rise.

Shane Brookshire, state veterinarian and director of animal health says countries see the steps the USDA has taken in making sure no infected animals make it into the food supply.

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Contents: "I think countries throughout the world and by international standards realize that we have interlocking steps in place that will prevent entry of this disease into the food chain."

Brookshire says with those steps in place and the way the meat industry recovered from last year's mad cow scare, he doesn't expect any further change in the export market at all.

From the state Capitol, I'm Amy Becker.