5844USDA investigating cow destroyed in West Texas (Houston Chronicle)
- May 1, 2004The 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.