Industry News | January 7, 2004

USDA Orders 450 Calves Destroyed

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According to the Seattle Times, 450 calves were slaughtered in Washington state on Tuesday. A waste disposal site is currently being sought for the carcasses.

"None of the animals will go into the human food chain, nor will any (material) from those animals go into a rendered product," USDA Chief Veterinarian Ron DeHaven told the Seattle Times.

The entire herd was destroyed because officials couldn't identify the male calf born to Washington’s now infamous BSE-infected cow. The calf did not have an ear tag. Officials told the Times that although the prevailing thought is that BSE cannot be transferred from mother to calf, they would rather err on the side of caution.

The Times also reported that the USDA is weighing whether some or all the cows from the Mabton dairy farm where the BSE-infected cow was found should be destroyed.