Pet food may lead to mad cow

Pet food may lead to mad cow

Ranchers warned not to feed it to cattle despite rising hay costs

By Dawn House

The Salt Lake Tribune

Ranchers struggling with high hay costs and burned out ranges are being warned that feeding cattle cheap pet food could cause an outbreak of mad cow disease.

    Some pet foods contain animal byproducts that if fed to beef or dairy cows pose the threat of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, says state veterinarian Earl Rogers.

    “It is possible that some pet food manufacturers who have heard of the depletion of feed sources in Utah because of drought and fire may offer their scrap material to Utah ranchers,” said Rogers. “Both buyers and sellers must know that any pet food containing cattle or other ruminant material cannot be fed to other cattle.”

    Feeding pet food to cattle, which is banned under state and federal law, could result in the slaughter of an entire herd, he said.

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