Baxter Black: COWBOY PAMPERS
It is not uncommon to see real cowboys in the communities where cattle are part of the economy. I don’t mean posing in the street like gunfighters in Tombstone, or passing out casino flyers on a corner in Las Vegas during rodeo week, but in the middle school parking lot picking up their kids, in the latte drive-up, or at the lumber store. One lady told of seeing two authentic-looking cowboys strolling up the aisle at Safeway. She described them as wearing ‘dusty jeans, ten gallon hats, and well-worn boots with jangling spurs.’ “What could they be buying in here?” she wondered…,”probably beer and tobacco.”
Early Detection and Prevention
by Ed Haag
There is a recognized consensus among those scientists, researchers and industry leaders involved in battling Johne’s that the shortest road to eliminating the pervasive and economically destructive bacterial infection from our beef and dairy herds is to develop a low-cost, quick-response, highsensitivity test that identifies Johne’s-positive cattle before they can infect their herdmates.
Ken Olson, coordinator for the National Johne’s Education Initiative, is encouraged by progress being made to develop new tools to detect the disease.
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Cows and the recall
Two important points about the beef recall: One is the inspiration for it – misbehavior by slaughterhouse workers caught on tape. It’s a reminder of the ubiquitous nature of surreptitious filming in the digital age.
A Baltimore police officer was recently suspended after he was caught on tape berating and abusing an errant skateboarder at the Inner Harbor. Is all this undercover filming a bad thing? Depends on who is catching whom, doesn’t it? In this case, the U.S. Humane Society filmed workers at a meat packing plant beating cows on the head to get them to stand up so they could be taken to pens for slaughter.
You can read the story here. Why is it important that cows be standing up? That gets to the second point.
As the Associated Press reports: Federal regulations require keeping downed cattle out of the food supply because they typically wallow in feces, their immune systems are often weak and they pose a higher risk of contamination from E. coli, salmonella or mad cow disease.
Biology, Habits, & Life Cycle of Face Flies
Only the female face fly is a pest of livestock. Males spend their time perched on vegetation, awaiting mates. The males feed on plant nectar and on the liquid secretions of dung. Females feed on protein contained in eye secretions, nasal secretions, and saliva, not on blood. They feed only during the daytime, resting on fence posts or vegetation at night.
While the fly is feeding, the roughness of its sponging mouthparts irritates the cow’s eye and increases tear production. Face fly feeding can transmit bacteria to the eye, increasing the likelihood of bovine pinkeye and Thelazia eyeworms.
Grass fed beef possibly healthier than corn fed beef
Grass fed cattle may end up being healthier for you than corn-fed cattle.
Researchers found beef from cattle that grazed on grass is leaner, and contains fewer hormones and anti-biotics than corn fed beef.
Scientists also found the beef from grass fed cattle contained more of a chemical called “Conjugated Linoleic Acid” or CLA. CLA has been shown to help reduce fat around a person’s abdominal muscles, and increase lean muscle.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Comments on Meat Recall
“Today, the United States Department of Agriculture announced a Class II recall involving beef from Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. This recall is happening, out of an abundance of caution, because the company did not follow regulations for handling non-ambulatory cattle.
We support USDA’s recall as a precautionary measure. At the same time, we can say with confidence that the beef supply is safe. We have multiple interlocking safeguards in place in every beef processing plant in America so that if one is bypassed, the other systems continue to ensure the product we serve our families remains safe.
Are You Ready For Spring Calving?
Spring calving season is just around the corner, and even though the majority of cattle give birth without assistance, it’s always wise to be prepared for those that will need help. When observing pregnant cows for signs of calving, you can divide the process of labor into three general stages. These include the preparatory stage (Stage 1), the fetal expulsion stage (Stage 2) and the cleaning stage (Stage 3). Time intervals and events that occur will vary between each stage as well as vary between individuals.
Cattle Feeding: “L” For Low-Quality Hay
Beef cowherds give us the opportunity to utilize low-quality, low value forages in the production of a marketable product. But without supplementation, physiologic limits on input and digestion of these feeds put a cap on both hay utilization and animal performance. However, research has repeatedly shown that the “right” supplement can significantly boost intake and digestibility of low-quality roughages. In other words, more bites of hay, and more good out of every bite.
Cattle industry mixed on tracking plan
Stephen J. Hedges
RENO—Though it looks remote, there may not be a busier place to raise cattle than on the land along the Arizona-Mexico border that belongs to the ZZ Cattle Corp.
Dan Bell, president of ZZ, recently told a cattle conference here that he and his ranch hands frequently come across fences cut by illegal immigrants entering the U.S. from Mexico. Those cut fences, he said, also enable cattle from Mexico to wander onto ZZ’s land, which has been in Bell’s family since 1938.
The need to better protect U.S. consumers
Marshall News Messenger
We kill animals to eat them. This is not a nice process. There is no way to do it without hurting the animal and most of us meat eaters (almost everyone) don’t even like to think about slaughtering.
Having said that, there are rules that we obey not only to be as humane to the animals as possible, but also for the safety of those who will eat the food. Animals should not be put through any undue pain, that is they should not be kicked, beaten, shocked unnecessarily. In other words, they should be killed quickly.
But much more importantly than that, animals that are obviously sick — while they certainly will have to be killed — should never, ever be processed for human consumption.
How Beef Gets To Your Dinner Table
In the heart of Northwest Louisiana’s river bottom sits John Stone’s cattle farm.
Consider this step one of how beef is made.
“Take care of your cattle, vaccinate them, keep them free of diseases and parasites so they can grow and become good quality meat,” says cattle farmer John Stone.
Stone says his family has taken pride in raising quality cattle for generations.
The healthier the cow, the better the sale–something that provides an incentive for every cattle farmer in the country.
“Taking care of the cattle- if you don’t do that, you don’t make the money, that’s all there is to it,” says Stone.
Cattle industry calls abuse incident isolated
Most cattle bound for American dinner tables is treated humanely, and a video showing crippled animals being shocked, kicked or shoved with forklifts depicts an isolated incident, a cattle industry spokesman said Monday.
“The welfare of our animals, that’s the heart and soul of our operations,” said Bo Reagan, vice president of research for the Colorado-based National Cattleman’s Beef Association.
The actions on an undercover video taken at the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. in Chino, Calif., are “something we don’t condone and don’t tolerate,” he said.
The Humane Society of the United States video triggered the recall of 143 million pounds of beef from Westland/Hallmark, the largest recall ever in the U.S.
by Bill Beal, beef cattle reproductive physiologist, Virgina Tech
The success of bovine embryo transfer (ET) depends on establishing and maintaining pregnancy in recipients receiving an embryo seven days after estrus. Failure to establish pregnancy or embryonic death resulting in embryo loss reduces the pregnancy rate following ET. Higher embryo quality and methods to improve embryo viability can reduce embryonic loss and increase the success of embryo transfer.
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Meat Recall Prompts Questions of Unsafe Practices
USDA Probe to Determine How It Overlooked Unsafe and Cruel Conditions
Fallout from the dramatic and disturbing undercover video, of sick cows in a meat processing plant, continued Monday, as school districts across the country scrambled to destroy beef from the Hallmark/Westland meat packing company in California.
The recall comes after the government confirmed that so-called “downer cows” — those so injured or sick, that they can’t stand up — were processed and entered into the nation’s food supply.
A USDA veterinarian is supposed to check each downer cow and make sure it’s not diseased, but that hasn’t happened, according to the person who shot the incriminating undercover footage for the Humane Society. He asked ABC News to protect his identity.