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From: TSS ()
Subject: STATEMENT BY USDA UNDER SECRETARY FOR FOOD SAFETY DR. RICHARD RAYMOND ON SUSPENSION OF INSPECTION AT HALLMARK/WESTLAND MEAT PACKING COMPANY
Date: February 6, 2008 at 12:52 pm PST

Release No. 0033.08
Contact:
Office of Communications (202)720-4623


STATEMENT BY USDA UNDER SECRETARY FOR FOOD SAFETY DR. RICHARD RAYMOND ON
SUSPENSION OF INSPECTION AT HALLMARK/WESTLAND MEAT PACKING COMPANY

February 5, 2008


Corrected: Name of company

"On Feb. 4, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) suspended
inspection at Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company based on the
establishment's clear violation of Federal regulations and the Humane
Methods of Slaughter Act. This Notice of Suspension is a regulatory course
of action available when FSIS finds egregious violations of humane handling
regulations.

At the time allegations were revealed on Jan. 30, the Hallmark/Westland Meat
Packing Company voluntarily stopped operations on Feb. 1. The USDA
suspension will remain in effect and the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing
Company will not be allowed to operate until written corrective actions are
submitted and verified by FSIS to ensure that animals are humanely handled.

An important point needs the public's attention: On Jan. 30, USDA placed an
administrative hold on all Westland Meat Packing Company products because of
potential violations of regulatory requirements and contractual terms as a
supplier of products to the Federal food and nutrition programs.

USDA at the time of the hold also indefinitely suspended the eligibility of
Westland Meat Packing Company to participate as a supplier to Federal food
and nutrition programs, specifically the National School Lunch Program, the
Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Food Distribution Program on
Indian Reservations.

On Jan. 30, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer called upon the Office of the
Inspector General to work with FSIS and the USDA's Agricultural Marketing
Service to conduct an investigation into allegations of inhumane handling of
non-ambulatory disabled cattle at Westland Meat Packing Company. These
allegations were made by the Humane Society of the United States against
Westland Meat Company.

We maintain an inspection system that safeguards the safety and
wholesomeness of our food supply. USDA will take appropriate action based on
the findings of the investigation."


http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2008/02/0033.xml

FSIS STATES ;


Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy - "Mad Cow Disease"


In addition, on December 30, 2003, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman
announced new policies that would further strengthen an existing solid food
safety system against BSE. On that date, an immediate ban was enacted to
prevent all non-ambulatory disabled cattle from being used in the human food
supply. This group contains the HIGHEST risk population of cattle that
could possibly have BSE. However, even before this ban, FSIS inspectors at
slaughterhouses were condemning all cattle they suspected of showing central
nervous system disorders.


snip...


Are meats used in the National School Lunch Program safe?


Yes. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), by specification, does not
allow beef that is mechanically separated from bone with automatic deboning
systems, advanced lean (meat) recovery (AMR) systems, or powered knives for
any commodity programs. USDA procurement specifications for beef
specifically prohibit the use of meat from downer animals - animals too sick
or injured to walk.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Bovine_Spongiform_Encephalopathy_Mad_Cow_Disease/index.asp

In December 2003, USDA announced the
first confirmed case in the United States of
bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
On January 12, 2004, FSIS published interim
rules, effective immediately, banning HIGH
BSE-risk, non-ambulatory (“downer”) cattle
from slaughtering facilities; imposing new
disposal requirements for certain potentially
hazardous animal parts and organs; prohibiting
the labeling as “meat” of mechanically
removed muscle tissue; and banning a form of
pre-slaughter stunning that can potentially
spread infective brain and nervous system
tissue into the meat.


http://digital.library.unt.edu/govdocs/crs/permalink/meta-crs-10052:1

Emergency Management and Information NetworkPennsylvania Department of
Agriculture Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services John I. Enck,
Jr., V.M.D., Director c-animalem@state.pa.us Telephone No: 717-783-6677 Fax
No: 717-787-1868 BSE Talking Points January 2, 2004


United States for signs of central nervous system impairment. All animals
exhibiting neurological signs during this inspection are condemned, and the
meat is not permitted for use as human food. The brains from these animals
are submitted to USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories for
analysis. (The cow implicated in the recent case was not considered to be
showing signs consistent with neurological disease, but was originally
diagnosed with a traumatic injury as a result of a difficult calving). • In
fiscal year 2002, USDA tested 19,990 cattle for BSE using a targeted
surveillance approach designed to test the highest risk animals, including
downer animals (animals that are non-ambulatory at slaughter), animals that
die on the farm, older animals and animals exhibiting signs of neurological
distress.


http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/filelibrary/1808/12778.pdf


Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Ongoing Surveillance Plan

July 20, 2006


Study (Targeted) Population

Ongoing Surveillance will target subpopulations from the Enhanced
Surveillance
population with the highest probability of BSE detection. Because BSE is
exceedingly
uncommon among U.S. cattle, the chosen targeted population will create
intentional bias
in the sample frame which favors detection of disease. Cattle that are dead
with unknown
clinical history will be limited in the surveillance sampling strategy
because they provide
substantially less information than animals accompanied by clinical history.
As used in
this Ongoing Surveillance plan, “dead with unknown clinical history” refers
to cattle that
are already dead prior to being presented for BSE sample collection and that
have no
known clinical history other than “dead of unknown cause.” Efforts for
collecting
clinical history data will be augmented for Ongoing Surveillance. At least
one clinical
sign must be identified for each sampled animal. Apparently healthy animals
will not be
targeted for surveillance. For those cattle without obvious CNS signs,
sample collection
on-farm will be preferred over other collection sites because the subtle and
nonspecific
nature of behavioral changes associated with BSE are best identified by
those who handle
cattle on a daily basis,2 and personnel on-farm are most suitable for
providing this
information.

The targeted population for Ongoing Surveillance consists of cattle of any
breed that fit
one of the following clinical presentation criteria:

1. Cattle of any age with CNS signs

This category includes cattle exhibiting signs consistent with a central
nervous
system disorder (including rabies-negative cases from public health
laboratories,
and FSIS condemns for “CNS signs” or “rabies”).

Additionally, this category includes cattle highly suspicious for BSE as
indicated
by VS Memo 580.16, which includes: 1) cattle affected by illnesses that are
refractory to treatment (including anorexia, loss of condition in spite of
good
appetite, pneumonia, decreased milk yield) and are displaying progressive
behavioral changes that are not of an acute nature (including apprehension,
nervousness, excitability, aggression, head shyness, hypermetria, kicking
when milked, difficulty in rising, excessive nose scratching, or hesitation
at
gates/barriers); 2) cattle displaying progressive neurological signs that
cannot be attributed to infectious illness and are not responsive to
treatment.

2. Cattle = 30 months of ageb that are condemned during antemortem
inspection
or are excluded from slaughter due to poor health status (nonambulatory,
unhealthy, or dead)

This category includes:

a) Cattle that are condemned by FSIS at antemortem inspection for any
reason (other than “CNS signs” or “rabies,” which are covered above
under “Cattle of any age with CNS signs”).

b) Cattle without a history of CNS signs for which sample collection occurs
on-farm, at veterinary clinics, or at livestock sale or auction barns and
that
are dead, nonambulatory, or have clinical signs that may be associated
with BSE. For those cattle that are dead prior to arrival of sampling
b Age of 30 months or older is evidenced by the eruption of at least one of
the second set of permanent incisors.

8
personnel on-farm, additional clinical history must be available other than
“dead of unknown cause.”

c) Cattle presented to veterinary diagnostic laboratories for necropsy or
for
ancillary diagnostics without a history of CNS signs but which had clinical
signs that may be associated with BSE.

d) Cattle from renderers or 3D/4D facilities (up to a maximum of 5,000) that
are dead, nonambulatory, or sick. Collection of clinical history is
preferable for these samples but is not required.

The Enhanced Surveillance data provide information on the number of clinical
suspects
and the number of nonambulatory, unhealthy, or dead animals over 30 months
classified
by collection site.9 We expect that collection sites yielding the highest
proportion of
clinical suspects relative to the number of animals sampled will continue to
do so.
Accordingly, because renderers and 3D/4D facilities produced the most
samples but
proportionately the fewest clinical suspects in the Enhanced Surveillance
program, we
will limit samples from these facilities to 5,000 animals.


http://www.fsc.go.jp/senmon/prion/p-dai38/prion38-sankousiryou1-1.pdf


Release No. 0028.08
Contact:
Office of Communications (202) 720-4623


TRANSCRIPT: USDA Officials Hold Technical Briefing Regarding Inhumane
Handling Allegations

Washington January 31, 2008

snip...


http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2008/02/0028.xml

> TRANSCRIPT: USDA Officials Hold Technical Briefing Regarding Inhumane

> Handling Allegations

THE title is very misleading. A better title in my opinion would have read ;


HIGHLY SUSPECT BSE, H-BASE, MAD COW BEEF DISTRIBUTED NATIONALLY (35 states
to date), to CHILDREN AND THE ELDERLY


USDA CERTIFIED H-BASE MAD COW SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM


http://cjdmadcowbaseoct2007.blogspot.com/2008/02/usda-certified-h-base-mad-cow-school.html


Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas USA 77518

---------- https://lists.aegee.org/cjd-l.html ----------




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