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Updated Harvard BSE risk analysis released July 26, 2006 Yesterday, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) held a briefing about the updated BSE risk assessment (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Science/Risk_Assessments/index.asp) it commissioned from the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. A Reuters article about the news leads with the report finding that “The U.S. government virtually eliminated the threat of mad cow disease to consumers by requiring the removal of brains, spinal cords and other high risk items from older cattle” (http://asia.news.yahoo.com/060725/3/2nm0y.html). Representatives from the Consumer advocacy groups Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and Consumers Union (CU) were quoted in the Reuters story. Caroline Smith DeWaal from CSPI said the government hasn’t been as proactive as it could be while CU’s Michael Hansen claimed the report was designed to find what the government wanted it to. Harvard conducted its initial BSE Risk Assessment in 2001 and then updated it in 2003. This time, FSIS asked the Harvard risk modeling experts to gauge the effectiveness of new safeguards implemented since December 2003 and determine the need for further controls. Even assuming a much greater rate of BSE incidence than the authors say is likely and imperfect feed ban compliance, the report finds the food safety measures enacted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture all reduce potential human exposure to BSE infectivity. Although the Authors detail the risk reduction achieved by individual safeguard measures – removing downer cattle from the human food supply and removing specified risk materials (SRMs) – they also remind that these are reductions relative to what already is a small risk. Harvard also looked at the additional feed ban controls proposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the International Review Team recommendations. The authors say banning ruminant blood in ruminant feed and dedicated production lines would have little effect on disease spread. Instead, the report finds that removing SRMs from dead stock prior to rendering and banning all animal-derived protein from cattle feed would be most effective in reducing the already low risk of BSE spreading in the U.S. cattle herd. Harvard has always attributed its findings to the strong safeguard measures the United States started implementing early on. The United States was the first country in the world to institute a feed ban before any BSE cases were found. In addition, the U.S. started its active BSE surveillance program in 1990. Since then, the United States has tested nearly 1 million cattle, particularly older cattle that are at greater risk for the disease, and found only two cases. As a result of industry and government actions beginning in 1989 and, now quantified in the Harvard report, BSE risk in the United States is very low resulting in the full protection of public and animal health. ...More


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SPRING WEATHER CONDITIONS CREATE A CHALLENGE FOR FORAGES
A cool, wet spring delayed growth of several summer grasses, but not the weeds that compete for space in fields and pastures across Mississippi.
IT'S THE PITTS -- UNIDENTIFIED FRUITY OBJECT
Besides being a great-granddaughter of the former President, Laura Eisenhower is a professional clairvoyant and spiritual healer who reads Tarot cards and gives astrology readings for a living. In an interview with Fox News Laura said that vegetarians are more apt to see UFO's than meat-eaters because, "we are multidimensional beings and based on our frequency, perceptions and our vibratory levels that we are functioning from, we are going to see things differently."
PRODUCERS SHOULD EVALUATE VALUE OF CREEP FEEDING
n the last issue we started a discussion concerning creep feeding and an ongoing evaluation of the value of this practice in cow-calf production. The main question the producer has to ask is “if I decide to creep feed my calves will this result in higher weaning weights and will it be profitable?”
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO HOOTER MCCORMICK -- WINDSHIELD ECONOMICS
Hooter was riding shotgun with Peetie Womack on the way back home from a feedlot where Peetie was checking on some of his cattle.
GENETRUST AT SUHN CATTLE COMPANY BULLS AVERAGE $5,863
Blue skies, blustery winds and Brangus bulls welcomed customers and friends of GENETRUST to the Flint Hills in Eureka, Kansas, on March 22, 2016 for the 24th annual installment of the event hosted by the Suhn family, in what has become one of the premier Brangus events of the year.
BLACK INK -- BEYOND THE BURNING HAIR
Our electric branding iron hangs high on a barn wall, bought on impulse 35 years ago but not used in 30. We freeze brand our replacement heifers though.
IT'S THE PITTS -- MOTHER NATURE, FATHER TIME
Women are nature, men are time. Women are beautiful like a Maui sunset or a forest of pine wearing a fresh blanket of snow, while men are as timeless as Shakespeare, Michelangelo and Da Vinci.
GRASS-FED BEEF CONFERENCE TO BE HELD MAY 26-27, 2016
With consumer interest heightening about where their food comes from, grass-fed beef producers will have the opportunity to learn more about marketing opportunities and production trends during a May 26-27 conference in College Station.
HUNTIN' DAYLIGHT - DECLINING PRICES MAGNIFY COST FOCUS
“Expenses won't come down as fast as commodity prices,” says Stan Bevers, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist. “Cow-calf expenses won't come down as fast as cow-calf prices. 2016 will have lower calf prices but not to the extent it will affect these higher expenses. During 2017, expenses still will not be coming down, where calf prices will be in their second year of decline. That's what concerns me.”
CONSIDER PROS AND CONS BEFORE CREEP FEEDING
Creep feeding of calves while still on the cow has been a management tool used for years by the cow-calf producer. The value and profitability of this practice has been long debated as well. So when producers ask if it is something worth considering, I give them the stock nutritionist's answer: “well, it depends.”
LITTLE W CHAROLAIS HOLDS PRODUCTION SALE
Little W Charolais held their 6th annual production sale on March 26, 2016 at the farm in Lebanon, Tenn.
EGYPTIAN VET STUDIES AT MISSISSIPPI STATE
New research techniques learned at Mississippi State University through a scholar exchange program will help a cattle veterinarian from Egypt as she pursues a doctoral education in food safety.
DEER ANTLERS MAY HOLD HEALTH SECRETS
Each spring the woods are littered with antlers as deer shed their old racks to make way for new sets, and these “sheds” may reveal hidden health problems in the bucks that drop them.
CLEMSON EXTENSION OFFERS CATTLEMEN'S BOOT CAMP
Gaven and April Hammett want to expand their cattle operation and are looking to Clemson University for the information they need.
EARLY SPRING CAN BE A CHALLENGING NUTRITIONAL TIME FOR SPRING CALVING
Late winter and early spring is the most challenging time of the year for the nutrition of the spring-calving beef cows.

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