Politicians Address Horse Slaughtering
Whether you own a horse or not, you may have a strong opinion on what`s done with them after they`re past their prime. Now, the U.S. Government is taking a stand on the issue of slaughtering horses.
The two sides on the issue of horse slaughtering are clear.
“To a lot of people, horses are their pets. They`re members of the family so to speak. And so that side of the argument is understandable. What the end of slaughter though will do is it ends one definite options for the removal of unwanted horses in the United States. And that`s going to leave options such as going to the vet and having that animal put down. And after you do that, we have the issues of what to do with those unwanted bodies,” said Dr. Lance Baker with the WTAMU Equine Industry Program.
Check-off program tracks when beef is sold
Bill Jackson, (Bio) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The check-off assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national check-off program, subject to USDA approval.
Food safety in an industrial age
Christian Science Monitor
When it comes to food, Americans live in an industrial age. The stuff of most meals is mass produced and processed. The recent mass removal of tainted and suspect spinach from the market is a reminder of this – and of the need for US agriculture to adopt more appropriate safety measures.
The E. coli problem with fresh spinach highlights enormous differences in the oversight and regulation of produce compared with meat. More US residents are harmed by contaminated produce than by faulty beef, poultry, or seafood, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
The problems with produce contamination are growing, while those with meat are declining. Yet the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees produce, has far fewer resources and less regulatory authority than the US Department of Agriculture, which oversees meat.
Japan imported 105 tons of U.S. beef in August, first month after ban lifted
TOKYO – Japan’s U.S. beef imports in the first month after the lifting of a ban stood at a fraction of what they used to be, according to government trade figures released Thursday.
Japan imported just 105 tons, worth 80 million yen ($678,000), of U.S. beef in August – the first month after the lifting of a two-year ban on American beef. That’s about 5 percent of the monthly average in 2003 before the ban, according to Finance Ministry statistics official Toru Tanaka.
Japan imported a total of 200,000 tons worth $1.4 billion in 2003.
Beef Quality Audit Shows Gains
UNITED STATES: 2005 Beef Quality Audit released, showing progress and setting a benchmark for quality goals and targets by the year 2015.
Final results from the 2005 Beef Quality Audit have been released. The research was partially funded by the beef checkoff and establishes a new benchmark for quality goals and targets by the year 2015.
Based on the audit, the checkoff-funded BQA program will target five specific education efforts to improve quality: the effects of animal health product use; quality assurance in care, handling and transportation; marketing opportunities; herd management actions that affect quality; and record-keeping practices.
Japan in no rush to change beef trade rules
by Peter Shinn
Dow Jones reports that Japan found its 29th case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) this week in a six-year old cow born before Japan imposed a ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban in 2001.
The U.S. currently accepts Japanese Watanabe beef without restrictions. Japan limits U.S. beef to boneless product from cattle under 21-months of age.
Meanwhile, Japan has a new prime minister, a new government and a new ag minister, Toshikatsu Matsuoka. But the new Japanese ag minister told Reuters Wednesday he’s in no hurry to change the current rule limiting U.S. beef imports to those from cattle under 21-months old. Mr. Toshikatsu said the U.S. must prove it can comply with the current beef deal before Tokyo will consider changing it.
Resource specialist advises how to keep the green grass growing
Tri State Neighbor
The recent moisture is good news for South Dakota grasslands, which are greening up at last.
“While the green looks nice, the plants have been severely stressed and it may take years to recover productivity,” said Stan Boltz, state rangeland management specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Huron, S.D.