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Unread 10-22-2006   #1 (permalink)
muslgrl
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Default Mad Cow Disease

How Can Cats Be at Risk?

Pet food is still legally made from meat and bone meal, although its use has been discontinued in ruminent feed. As a result, over 100 cats in Great Britain have died from feline spongiform encephalopathy, or FSE, the feline equivalent of Mad Cow Disease. According to an article in Earth Island Journal, in 1989,



"Britain's Pet Food Manufacturers' Association, announced that it had 'voluntarily banned the use of specified bovine tissues' in pet foods."
"In 1996, however, Agriculture Minister Angela Browning informed the House of Commons that 'mammalian meat and bone meal-powdered residue from culled and rendered cattle is used in pet food.' Labour Parliament member and microbiologist Martyn Jones called Browning's admission 'an astounding revelation. This stuff is so risky that they are not even allowed to bury it,' Jones stated. 'Yet they are getting rid of it by passing it on to pet food manufacturers.'"

In the United States, the government banned the import of British beef in 1989. However, by that time the disease had become endemic in Great Britain, and the chain reaction could have already started in the U.S. An article written by Jean Hofve, DVM, for The Whole Cat Journal, points out that in the past ten years, the USDA has only tested the brains of about 12,000 cattle total, of the more than 300 million slaughtered. Dr. Hofve goes on to point out that the "Downers" can still be legally slaughtered and their meat sold for both human and pet food. She believes cats to be more sensitive to the prions than humans. In addition to the 100 domestic cats which, as of the turn of the century, have died from feline spongiform encephalopathy, are sixteen big cats, which, in the latter case, most likely succumbed as the result of eating contaminated raw meat.
 
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Unread 10-23-2006   #2 (permalink)
Peabug
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Hmmm interesting, wonder how long its been since a cat tested positive for the disease.
 
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