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5844USDA investigating cow destroyed in West Texas (Houston Chronicle)

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  • Pamela Rice
    May 1, 2004
      The Houston Chronicle



      May 1, 2004, 12:02AM

      USDA investigating cow destroyed in West Texas
      Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle News Services

      SAN ANGELO - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is gathering
      information on a cow that was ordered destroyed at a West Texas
      meatpacking plant, a USDA official said Friday.

      Spokesman Ed Loyd said he didn't have confirmation on why the cow was
      killed Wednesday and said it wasn't immediately clear if a tissue
      sample had been taken for a test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy
      - mad cow disease.

      "We cannot jump to the conclusion that it has BSE. That's why there's
      testing done," Loyd said.

      Allen Spelce, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Agriculture,
      said the cow arrived at the plant injured and was "pulled out and not
      allowed to enter the food chain."

      It wasn't clear whether the cow exhibited signs of central nervous
      system disorder, one of the signs of mad cow. Neither Loyd nor Spelce
      gave the name of the plant or its owner.

      The only case of mad cow detected in the United States was in
      Washington state last year.

      On June 1, USDA inspectors will increase the number of cattle tested
      for mad cow disease to help reassure Americans that their meat supply
      is safe and win back vital export markets, the agency said.

      U.S. cattle futures fell Friday on rumors about the Texas cow.

      Live cattle futures for June delivery at the Chicago Mercantile
      Exchange were down 0.65 cent at 80.40 cents per pound.